The rise of personal leasing has been blamed for a rise in the volume of sub-standard repair work seen on used cars by remarketing operations, according to the Vehicle Remarketing Association (VRA).
The VRA said that an ever increasing number of cars are being presented for sale online and at auction with what the industry terms “previous poor repairs” as a result of the shift in vehicle ‘ownership’ trends.
Vehicle bodies and sub-standard paint work are the most commonly seen issues with used cars, according to the VRA, which is now urging stricter PCP and PCH sales guidelines which stipulate that repairs must be carried out by franchised retailers and authorised repairers.
Chris Weeks, director at National Body Repair Association (NBRA), said: “Poor previous repair is not only a problem suffered by the vehicle remarketing industry, even repairers themselves can be shocked by the standard of previous work seen on newly damaged cars.
“The simple answer would be for vehicle sellers offering PCPs or similar to insist that repairs are carried out either by the manufacturer or an NBRA approved repairer that offers repairs at a range of costs, but always to a consistently high standard.”
Sam Watkins, chairman of the VRA, said: “Previous poor repairs are a real problem when it comes to a vehicle sale.
“They affect the value, they make the vehicle trickier to sell and they can lead to a delay in the sale if they need to be brought up to an acceptable standard.
“Our members are telling us that they are becoming more and more common. The issue, we believe, is being caused by the rise of PCP and PCH in both the new and used sectors.
“Traditional leasing customers tend to know about expectations when it comes to vehicle repair standards but private motorists are often leasing a car for the first time.
“If the vehicle is damaged, they will sometimes seek to get it repaired as cheaply as possible, which means repairs ranging from marginally sub-standard through to what can only be termed ‘bodges’ where the customers has attempted their own repair.”
Watkins suggested that the best way to solve the problem, she added was to better communicate the repair standards expected of PCP and PCH customers, such as the need to use an approved bodyshop.
She said: “In almost all cases, the person leasing the car will pay an end-of-life recharge for the previous poor repair, so it will not ultimately save them money.
“Really, what we need is for better communication with leasing customers to make them aware of their responsibilities in terms of maintaining the condition of the vehicle to try and stop the problem occurring at source.”