Fleet News

Trade has reacted well to new regime

'NOW the new V5 regime is at last with us it has been interesting to see how it is affecting disposal and buying activity. Firstly, it is clear that the majority of sellers are not entering cars at auction, or selling direct to the trade, without a V5 being present.

Those who do attempt it and are being discouraged until the V5 has been found or replaced.

But some do not have the luxury of waiting for the registration document to appear, and these are now suffering. In particular, the repossessions made by finance companies are causing the most grief because the chances of getting a V5, or service books, from the former keeper are generally close to zero.

Some of the finance companies are not even bothering to try to replace the documents, but at least that has given us the chance to observe the trade's reaction to those cars.

It seems to be settling at a penalty of between £300 and £500, regardless of age, model or mileage.

Everyone is now aware of the problem and, more importantly, it is under control. One thing you can say for the motor trade is that it does react quickly to change.

Poor service, business as usual

AS I have mentioned in this column previously, something that really does not seem to change is the general standard of service departments, or perhaps their personnel. Since I recently raised this subject, I have discussed the issue with fleet companies, fleet drivers and private motorists and, without exception, they all have horror stories to tell.

Consequently, many try to keep away from the service department as far as possible, counting their blessings that service intervals have increased.

It is the annoying 'little' problems that are causing the most hassle and, as cars get more complex, the chance of a first-time fix reduces. Business as usual then.

Superminis continue to fare well

THE used car market is buoyant, with auctions reporting strong prices for most cars. Although cherry-picking is still going on, even cars needing a bit of work are doing well.

But with dealers now often having to pay more than they feel they should, they are having to reduce margins because the retail buyer still won't pay more.

Many compare used prices to new, so the deals available on new cars are often seriously distracting interest in the used market. The smaller end of the market is faring particularly well, with the likes of Ford Ka and Fiesta, Renault Clio and Vauxhall Corsa all sought after. Also, some of the less well-known examples are particularly desirable – like SEAT Ibiza and Arosa, Skoda Fabia and Toyota Yaris.

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