Firms including Dent Wizard and BCA Smart Prepared offer fleets the chance to remove dents and interior damage before buyers get a chance to look at the car. Meanwhile, research by the Centre of Automotive Industries Management at Nottingham Business School, backed by HSBC Vehicle Finance, has noticed a growing trend to support the service among fleets.
Although 76% of fleets overall in the survey of 365 fleets covering more than 76,000 vehicles said they did not prepare cars before sale, much higher numbers of large fleets ensured their vehicles looked their best at sale time. Of the fleets with more than 1,000 vehicles interviewed, 56% used pre-sale preparation services, while more than 80% of 50 to 499-vehicle fleets did the same.
Report author Professor Peter Cooke, head of the centre, said: 'A key factor in achieving the best price is to ensure that the vehicle is prepared for disposal. Such preparation may be as little as a wash and vacuum, or it may be a full mechanical and bodywork inspection, rectification and valet. The important point, however, is that the vehicle has been prepared to an extent to enhance its value.'