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Aston Barclay implements strict COVID-19 rules for physical car auctions' return

A Ford Transit passes through the auction halls at an Aston Barclay LCV sale prior to the COVID-19 pandemic

Aston Barclay is preparing to welcome car and van retailers back to its auction halls after 84% of buyers voted for a return to physical trading.

The remarketing specialist said that it would be implementing strict COVID-19 safety measures ahead of the April 12 return to physical auctions and indicated that a survey of 673 customers suggested there was a desire to return.

Doors will open to physical buyers for dealer, Motability and LCV sales, it said today (April 1).

OEM, ex-fleet and leasing sales remaining digital for the foreseeable future, although buyers will be invited to the halls to view fleet and lease stock prior to the sale.

Vehicles will be driven through Aston Barclay’s for the first time this year on April 12, starting with the LCV sale at Donington.

Justin Lane, Aston Barclay’s chief operating officer, said: “From 12 April we will enter a new hybrid physical and online auction phase whilst working to strict Government Covid-19 restrictions.

“We have been in constant discussion with our buyers and not surprisingly at the lower value end of the market and our LCV buyers requested a return to onsite pre-sale inspections and being able to bid in the auction hall.”

Aston Barclay said that 84% of the 673 respondents (582 buyers) to its survey said they would attend future physical auctions as 76% suggested they would buy more used cars with the opportunity to carry out their own appraisals before bidding.

Meanwhile, all vendors surveyed by Aston Barclay said they would attend physical sales to represent their brand on the rostrum, with 73% stating that in their eyes returning to physical would influence the number of vehicles they sell.

A strict set of COVID-19 rules, for those attending physical auctions – have been drawn-up by Aston Barclay.

They include:

  • One bidder per account attending each lane
  • Face coverings being worn at all times
  • Observing individual site’s one-way systems
  • Adhering to strict social distancing protocol

Lane said: “We are pleased to welcome all buyers back providing they adhere to the strict guidelines we have put in place on site and of course every sale will continue to be open to online buyers.”

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