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Retail-ready used cars key to post-lockdown market, VRA reports

Date: 23 July 2020   |   Author: Sean Keywood

Retail-ready stock is becoming even more sought after in the post-lockdown used car market, according to the Vehicle Remarketing Association (VRA).

Chair Sam Watkins said that this was down to dealers trying to make the process of buying and selling vehicles as straightforward as possible, due to key services such as transportation remaining erratic.

She said: "Thanks to the strong sales performance seen by used car retailers following the easing of lockdown, most are now entering back into a cycle of replenishing their stock and generally, nearly all of the important elements of the market are now working as normal.

"However, some difficult issues remain, especially around the movement of vehicles, which are not yet back to usual levels of efficiency. That is introducing sometimes quite lengthy delays into getting a vehicle to a dealer.

"What overall impact does this have? It means that the retailer has less time and a reduced inclination to prepare a car for sale themselves, because that creates further increased time-to-sale."

Watkins said another factor was the increase in digital car sales, meaning clarity on vehicle condition was critical to build consumer confidence.

The trend means that large organisations disposing of cars, such as leasing companies, are looking at using centralised resources to recondition and move vehicles.

Watkins said: "There is definitely more interest in this area and not just because of the coronavirus crisis. Increased complexity in vehicle technology, such as ADAS, is having an additional impact on dealer appetites to operate reconditioning services in-house.

"It is possible that we are at starting to see a structural shift where an increasing number of dealers see themselves as no longer in the business of bringing vehicles up to a necessary market standard.

"Large-scale vendors of vehicles into the used market sector are realising that they will need to meet this changing need and so are increasingly looking to ensure that as much of their stock falls into the retail-ready category as possible.

"Putting in place processes that satisfy this demand is an obvious step and something that we expect to see it emerge as a major trend over the course of the second half of 2020."