Fleet News

Be realistic and stem losses, say disposal experts

THOUSANDS of ex-company cars are failing to sell at auction because fleets are setting unrealistic reserve prices. These reserves are based on residual values set three years ago when the used car market was buoyant, and fail to take account of today's significantly weaker market.

This means cars are attracting bids at auction of £300 to £400 below the prices listed in the trade's used car guides, and failing to sell because fleets are holding out for full guide value. 'Fleets need to be aware of current market prices, keep an open mind, and be less influenced by residual value predictions set three years ago,' said John Bailey, chief executive of the ICA (Holdings) network which includes ICA, CMA and NCA.

Immediate support for this view came from Tom Madden, customer affairs director of British Car Auctions. 'Vendors at auction will lose money by holding out for better times,' he said. 'By chasing mythical values on cars they are selling, they are missing opportunities and more importantly wasting their company's money.' Tim Ryan, editor of CAP Black Book, said: 'The market is so volatile at the moment that fleet managers should go out to an auction and see what is happening. It is better to sell cars while the bids are there, than to hang on to them in the hope of an extra £100.'

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