Now four other major companies are preparing to make the switch to online vehicle locator and auction packages, Nexus plc managing director Peter Blease told Fleet News.
He said: 'While I doubt that sales by computer will ever totally replace the physical auction, this new system is poised to have a big impact on the way large numbers of cars are routed back into the UK market.
'Thanks to electronic trading, vendors are no longer faced with the time, trouble and cost of transporting vehicles to auction sites all over the country - and at between 25% and 30% less, the cost per transaction comes as the icing on the cake,' he said.
According to Blease, the Bid and Find packages launched earlier this year by the Milton Keynes-based automotive industry service provider are more effective than the usual method of putting vehicles under the hammer.
'Apart from reducing costs, the fact that it is operated on a national basis offers the potential of raising residuals because it is not subject to local variations,' he said.
Capable of operating on almost any PC with internet access, the system allows vehicles to be posted with full inspection reports, photographs and CAP valuations. Working at high speed, it clears up to 50 vehicles per hour but is designed to protect customer confidentiality. Some dealers continue to be reluctant about moving into computer trading, but things will be a lot different in 12 months' time,' he said.