The best used car stock is now largely being sold online in a ready-to-retail condition to dealers.
Epyx, which operates the 1link Disposal Network e-commerce platform, says there has been a shift towards online during 2016 because of increasing stock availability.
David Goodyear, commercial director, said: “There are ever larger numbers of PCPs and other leasing returns coming to the market and this has required manufacturers and leasing companies to rethink their approach to disposal in some important ways.
“What we are seeing is a concerted effort to de-fleet, recondition and resell stock as quickly as possible, generally in days rather than weeks, in order to free up capital rapidly and meet growing dealer demand for ready-to-retail cars and vans.
“The best way to do this is online, purely because the process is much faster than sending the car to a traditional auction, and potentially places the vehicle in front of many more buyers.
“There is no question in our minds that the best stock is now largely being sold online.”
Goodyear said the majority of stock now sold at physical auctions tended to be of lesser quality.
“While there are exceptions such as certain specialist sales, the general standard of stock sold through traditional channels is not quite as good as we see online and is priced accordingly.
“I believe that what we are seeing happen, as availability of stock increases, is an increasing stratification of the market as those selling cars seek out the most effective solutions.
“The best, fastest-to-sell stock goes through online channels and below that are different levels of quality with the poorest finding their way into general auction sales.”
And over the next year or more, as stock levels were predicted to increase, the overall trend would increase.
“More and more PCP stock will be returning to the market and we expect to see further refining of disposal strategies.”
1link Disposal Network is used by manufacturers and fleets to manage online the selling of de-fleet stock to traders and dealers through a wide variety of channels including online and auctions.