Jon Mitchell, UK sales director at Autorola, investigates the growth of online auction platforms.
The buyer of used cars for car supermarkets, franchised and independent dealers are an essential part of the remarketing industry as they purchase a large percentage of their stock from fleet vendors.
But as used car businesses continue to thrive and many employers are still to return their staff levels to pre-recession levels, so buyers are having to look to the most efficient way to source and purchase used vehicles.
A growing number have switched to online bidding to address these issues, whether it is buying directly from an online portal or bidding online on vehicles offered at physical auction.
Modern-day buyers can keep forecourts full of used vehicles by managing their used vehicle sourcing and bidding from the comfort of their office.
A day or so later, vehicles purchased online arrive on site and, due to the excellent standards of vehicle descriptions and photos, plus the modern-day auctioneer accounting for online bids when describing vehicles on the rostrum, there are very few vehicles that give the buyer an issue.
More remarketing providers have now set up escrow accounts so that a buyer’s funds do not clear until they are 100% happy with their purchase.
This is further positive evidence that the industry is modernising itself to take account of this change in buying habits.
More used vehicle data is available than ever before, much of it split by region, which means online buyers have up-to-the-minute guidance of what they should be paying for a vehicle, even if it is for sale a few hundred miles away.
While the market in the UK is still a long way from matching the 100% online buying approach of the Japanese market, we predict online used vehicle buyers will form the majority, not the minority, of purchases in the UK over the next 12-18 months. Any vendor not embracing the needs of online buyers does so at their peril.