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Why take it out on auctions?

SIR - Ian Middleton (Letters, October 14) may have a serious disagreement with CAP, but I wonder why he also felt moved to disparage auctions?
For the record, we would like to make a number of points, which are a matter of fact: For decades, auction has been an integral part of the motor industry. The vast majority of major leasing and finance companies, manufacturers and dealer groups continue to use auction as the primary route to market, not last resort.
They like the speed and efficiency and the fact that auctions can handle everything from collection to preparation, marketing and sale, followed by swift and full payment of the proceeds. What is essential to them is the inventory management and financial control offered in a transparent and open marketplace.

  • Auction is not about ‘average values’, but exceptional values that some cars will make due to a combination of factors such as desirability, presentation and condition. There will always be a variance between a ‘book price’ and a living, breathing market and these changes can be followed every day on BCA’s Auction View service – which shows not only CAP but also Glass’s Guide comparisons.
  • Auction frequently and consistently produces results that exceed guide values because buyers – trade or private – will make their own minds up about what they can afford for a used car – depending whether they are seeking to resale for profit or retain for use.
  • BCA handles 1.3 million vehicles annually across Europe – that’s around 108,000 a month. And it is no secret that BCA transfers the prices our buyers have paid for cars to CAP and Glass’s every day.
  • The main dynamic that drives prices in the used car market is demand from the retail customer. Motorists vote with their wallets and every sector of the used car market bows to this greater force, rather than to price guides.

    Tom Madden
    Director, Customer Affairs, BCA

    Own-car use is just not worth it

    SIR - I read with interest the letter from James Sutherland about drivers using their own car on work-related journeys.
    With more companies looking to conform with strict duty of care regulations, encouraging drivers to use their own cars for company business is not advised. Who knows when the car was last serviced or MoT’d and whether it is definitely insured for business use. Is it worth gambling with these unknowns and the employee having an accident?
    We have noticed that more companies over the past few months have started to use Avis for renting a car to cater for this very situation. They like the fact that we guarantee every car has had a 39-point check prior to it being handed over to a driver.
    We check key areas such as brakes, tyres, windscreen wipers, oil and many other items. The exterior and interior are cleaned so the driver’s visibility is good and no car on the fleet is more than 6-9 months old.
    With car rental, companies can hire the most suitable type of car for the journey, whereas you may have five employees all driving to a business meeting in a 10-year old Ford Fiesta that hasn’t been serviced for three years, which obviously could cause a safety issue. Insurance is another area where companies are never sure whether employees have extended their cover to include work travel. Avis offers its own insurance or alternatively with a rental car, companies can provide their own insurance cover.
    It’s proof that the rental industry can contribute to helping companies improve safety and reduce accidents, the only issue we can’t address is the quality of an employee’s driving once they are at the wheel of an car.

    Penny Stoolman
    Sales and marketing director, Avis UK

    No sympathy for those who drink and drive

    SIR – Like most of your readers, I have little sympathy for the anonymous writer, banned for drink-driving, (Fleet NewsNet, Sept 30) – whose letter, however well intentioned, suggests drivers calculate carefully the number of units of alcohol consumed, before driving.
    I really believed that occupational drivers in fleets had developed a more mature and more socially responsible attitude to alcohol and driving. There can be no ‘safe limit’ calculated or otherwise, for drinking and driving. Indeed, the writer identifies many of the arguments for not driving after consuming alcohol.
    Forget business lunch drinks or Friday evening ‘swift halves’. If your readers want to keep their jobs, their company cars and their social integrity, the message is plain and simple.
    If you are going to drive – DON’T DRINK! Drivers should also be aware of the lasting effects of drinking the night before an early morning journey.

    Chris Titchener
    Head of fleet training, Fleetcraft Driver Training

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