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Used cars: Changing face of auctions

Reduction in supply of younger used cars

The used car market is obviously driven by the number of new ones being bought. Consequently it isn’t in the best shape right now.

Since 2008 there has been a reduction in the supply of younger used cars and some industry watchers argue that’s resulted in more online sourcing by dealers.

Gary Gibson, head of customer service at IT solutions provider Epyx, said: “It means dealers can get hold of quality used cars without having to leave their premises.

"Even if they want to see a vehicle in the metal before buying, online sales mean they can sort the wheat from the chaff, minimising wasted journeys. We’re seeing more and more dealers are becoming comfortable with buying online.”

Optimising the benefits that working on the web brings – for example, by setting up intelligent alerts that notify the dealer when a suitable vehicle becomes available – can take that efficiency even further.

“It potentially brings a degree of precision to the used car buying process that’s really not available through any other means,” said Gibson.

Cyber-sales are growing in popularity so will they eventually kill off the physical sector completely? Tim Hudson at Aston Barclay thinks not, but believes their share of the business will grow greater than it is today. Adrian Rushmore of Glass’s agrees.

“Electronic sales were started to remarket late-used cars that are usually in good condition, where the dealer will happily buy it unseen, but today they are held for cars of most ages.”

BCA recommends manufacturers offer both types of closed auction.

Combined they put the cars in a competitive environment in front of the most number of people, which can enhance values.

Interestingly, the abovementioned Manheim Mazda sale was a first. Previously, all its closed auctions have been online.

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