FEATURE: The owner of Maldon's newest car showroom tells how an auction purchase as a teenager led to becoming his own boss

  Posted: 03.06.21 at 20:18 by The Editor

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IF there’s one thing that strikes anyone interviewing Jack Hylton, owner of Maldon’s newest car showroom, it’s his friendly and open manner.

There’s not a shirt, tie and business suit in sight – rather, there are smart company polo shirts and warm smiles. Neither is there any hint of the high-pressure used car sales environment many of us have experienced at some point in our lives.

“One of the key things I want in my showroom is a place where people can come along, look at the cars and feel absolutely no pressure to buy. This is a big purchase for most people and if they get home and have bought a car they don’t really want, they will only regret it and resent you for it,” he explains, “and I want my customers to be happy.”

For Jack, who owns Churchward Car Sales in Wycke Hill Business Park, Maldon, recommendations from happy customers are key to business success. Having spent 12 years building his business in Chelmsford on an open forecourt, he has chosen the town as the place to establish his first full-scale showroom, which is modern, spacious and packed with gleaming cars.

It’s clear, as he shows me round the two floors of the new premises he moved to in the midst of the last lockdown, that Jack takes a pride in making sure every used car he sells has been properly prepared by him and his team.

So how did he find his feet in this business? Having had a lifelong passion for cars, it all started when Jack, now 31, went along as an industrious 18-year-old to a car auction with a friend and came away with a VW Polo.

“I spent days working on the car,” he says, “and put it up for sale on the internet on a Friday. By the Saturday it had sold and that’s how it all began.”

Jack’s love of his work is clear and he tells how it can be rewarding in much more than purely monetary terms.

“What I really have a soft spot for is when we know it’s someone’s first car,” he says, “like when a man brought his son here to buy him his first Fiesta. Seeing his face when he saw the car and knew it was his was amazing.”

The company has achieved both Trading Standards and AA approval and Jack is proud of this, too.

He says: “To be approved by Trading Standards, you have to let them have all the details of all your customers over a given time. Then they just select some at random and talk to them about their experience of buying a vehicle from you.”

Jack’s hard work has also meant he has been able to build a life he enjoys outside of his busy working week, with a caravan at Steeple and a speedboat at Bradwell Marina, pastimes he indulges in the company of his girlfriend - who he lives with in Chelmsford - and new pup, Teddy the Yorkshire Terrier.

And so far, taking on the Maldon showroom has been a good move for Jack and his team.

“We’ve been really busy and having the website to sell cars from as well as the showroom means we’ve still done well in the pandemic,” he says, “and everyone here has been really friendly and welcoming, too.

“My hope for the future is to keep this working well and eventually to expand. The only way to do that is make sure we keep giving excellent customer service and selling cars that have been properly prepared. And anyone who wants to come and look at them can, whenever they want and with no pressure to buy at all.”

You can find Churchward Car Sales at Wycke Hill Business Park, Unit 8 A/B, Maldon, CM9 6UZ or visit the website using the link here.

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