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CAP reveals condition criteria for what makes a CAP Clean vehicle

CAP has released its definitive vehicle condition criteria to put an end to uncertainty over what qualifies as a ‘CAP Clean’ vehicle.

The publication of a clear ‘scorecard’, detailing the precise criteria for CAP’s three condition pricing points – Clean, Average and Below – addresses one of the most common issues often dividing used car trade buyers and disposers.

To precisely identify the condition of a vehicle CAP has listed the common features for appraisal in each of the following areas: exterior bodywork, lights/glass/mirrors, wheels/tyres/interior trim and documentation/keys.

Within each of these areas a point-scoring system enables those appraising the vehicle to record items requiring remedial work. Such items are graded intelligently so that – for example – a light scuff adds fewer points than the need for a new tyre.

A completed checklist results in a points total which defines the condition grade of the vehicle.

The system also takes into account vehicle age, thus avoiding the longstanding areas of industry debate such as how to clearly distinguish between a three year old ‘CAP Clean’ car and a ‘CAP Clean’ five year old vehicle.

To take into account the differences in the significance of features in different sectors – for example the cost of tyres for a typical heavy 4x4 – the scoring system has been adapted appropriately for each vehicle segment.

The CAP condition criteria and grading system will first be published across CAP’s used car valuation products, with plans also being developed for a smartphone application.

Anthony Doherty, CAP development director, said: “Although CAP Clean is almost universally recognised as an essential independent condition and valuation benchmark across the industry, it is important that it is properly understood and applied appropriately.

“By defining precisely what qualifies as a Clean, Average or Below Average condition vehicle we intend to help both buyers and sellers in the trade market to negotiate from a position of mutual understanding rather than from the starting point of disagreements over valuation criteria we so often see at present.”

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