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Business as usual for car auctions in COVID-19 ‘Lockdown 3’

Louise Wallis, head of NAMA

Car auctions have indicated that it will remain business as usual for stock-sourcing dealers during the latest COVID-19 lockdown across the UK.

Members of the National Association of Motor Auctions (NAMA) told the trade body that lockdowns announced for England and Scotland on Monday (January 4) would not restrict their ability to trade online despite the closure of non-essential retail.

Auctions were part of a lockdown exemption list detailed in Government lockdown legislation posted on the gov.uk website following Boris Johnson’s national address.

Head of NAMA, Louise Wallis, said: “NAMA members continue to follow the Government guidance to ensure the safety of their staff and customers, which is the priority.

“During the previous lockdowns, auction houses demonstrated their ability to adapt and businesses are now capable of efficiently running successful online auctions.

“Although businesses will have to close over the coming weeks, we expect online auctions to stay strong and we are confident the NAMA Grading scheme* will continue to support our members’ sales.”

Back in December AM reported that Aston Barclay had maintained 70% of its usual sales volume during November’s COVID-19 lockdown in England.

Wallis said: “Despite the significant, unexpected challenges, the auction market performed well last year.

“We are looking forward to 2021 with a Brexit deal now agreed and vaccines approved, which will restore a degree of confidence in the economy”.

Today, BCA confirmed that all of its vehicle auctions would remain in exclusively online and socially distanced style during the latest lockdown, with transactions completed remotely and in line with the Government guidelines.

Buyers can plan collections safely using BCA’s streamlined digital click and collect service for auction purchases, it said.

BCA UK chief operating officer, Stuart Pearson, said: “Given the difficulties of 2020, the used vehicle sector is now well-practiced and prepared to trade through the constraints that lockdown imposes and BCA is there every step of the way to help our customers conduct their business safely and efficiently in these difficult times. 

“We will continue to look for innovative ways to support our customers during the months ahead with enhancements to our digital services supporting the used vehicle sector.”

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