And auctions have been given powerful backing by Motability Finance Ltd, which runs Europe's largest fleet of about 360,000 vehicles. Mark James, general manager of MFL Remarketing, hit back at rumours that a move to widen disposal routes might threaten its use of auctions.
He said: 'Auctions have always been a successful disposal route for MFL enabling us to reach hundreds of specialist buyers who follow our product. Auctions are unique. They offer a competitive bidding route to a vast market place providing specific product benchmarking.' But he added that auction was one of several routes, including sales to dealers, which MFL was using.
Tom Madden, director of customer affairs for British Car Auctions, said auctions would continue as the backbone of the disposal industry. He said: 'Auctions should be part of every fleet manager's disposal programme. Auction brings a flexibility and adaptability to the remarketing process, allowing for the sale of tens, twenties or even hundreds of cars quickly and efficiently.'
A spokesman for Manheim Auctions, said: 'MFL has very strong conversion rates and because buyers know the quality of their disposal vehicles, they travel a long way to MFL sales. It is appropriate to review how to operate disposals with a fleet that big, but they have great success at auction.'