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Universal trials with sub-£1kto go national

A pilot scheme designed to provide an extra revenue source by disposing of low value part-exchanges is currently being rolled out to dealers nationally.

Universal Salvage has been running a programme for dealer groups Pendragon and Dagenham Motors for more than a year, in which it provides nationwide collection and public auction services for the groups’ unwanted part-exchanges. This year, it plans to increase the number of groups it works with.

The vehicles are entered into an online and physical auction at one of five Universal Vehicle Services sales facilities, which is open to the public and trade. Any that do not sell can be disposed of directly by Universal, which deals with all environmental and administration issues such as de-pollution, recycling and ELV certificates.

Anne Bermingham, group marketing manager, says the scheme processed 25,000 part exchanges last year, but she hopes to double that in 2005. Values are typically £1,000 or less. Bermingham estimates the total market, including salvage vehicles, to be above 500,000 units a year.

“At our site in Sandy, Bedfordshire, we’re currently doing 200-plus part-ex cars a week. Recently, it has attracted about 600 attendance, and the sale rate was 85%,” she says.

“This is one of those areas where dealerships tend to look at part-exchanges as a problem, and have a single auction policy. Our scheme provides more options for them.”

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