Online ex-fleet car auctions grow

British Car Auctions (BCA) says online auctions and new technology are changing the remarketing of ex-fleet vehicles, allowing fleets and leasing companies to reap better benefits.

Whether buying or contracting a hire vehicle, consumers should be informed about changes in the market to take advantage of better re-sale values and leasing rates that are more competitive.

With more buyers able to participate, online auctions are pushing up prices.

In 2011, buyers bidding online bought 130,000 or 22% of BCA's 600,000 sales. In the US, online sales comprise 30%-35% of remarketing volume. The service has been around longer in the US. D'Vidis Jacobs, BCA's commercial director, expects the UK to follow the online bidding growth seen in the US.

"In quarter one 2007 we sold 2,416 cars online; in quarter one this year we sold 32,772," he said. "Online is making physical auctions more efficient. It increases buying power because the buyer doesn't have to go to the site. In the long-term, the market will go more online."

Despite their growth, online auctions will not do away with physical remarketing centres, which are essential for de-fleeting vehicles. The BCA stocks from 12,000 to 15,000 vehicles at each one of its 20 centres in the UK.

Jacobs said: "We have nothing in our plans to reduce our footprint; the cost of logistics is the biggest one for vendors so we need a regional network."

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