The firm, which traditionally has dealt in selling accident- damaged and unroadworthy cars and vans to the scrap and private trade, is moving into low value vehicles which, it says, often struggle in trade auctions dominated by higher value fleet vehicles. It has also seen a rise in business for end-of- lease vans, which generally are worth very little.
For the past year, Universal Salvage has been running trial sales with vehicles of around £1,500 and under, but values have been creeping up and it claims sales over the next year will see cars averaging £2,500-£3,500.
According to Ashley Waller, business development manager for Universal Salvage, the firm is selling about 30,000 roadworthy, low-value vehicles through its Sandwich and Sandy sites, but believes there could be a market for as many as 100,000 vehicles.
Waller reckoned that the buyer profile had changed as well, from customers looking for scrapped vehicles, to one that includes private or trade buyers looking for a bargain.
The firm gets most of its stock from dealer part-exchanges, as well as finance house repossessions, and is looking for more fleet business.
Waller said: 'We can guarantee fleets that we will take the vehicles off their hands and that will be the last they see of them. At some of the bigger auction firms, those unsold low-value vehicles will end up with the auction firm asking the fleet what they want to do with them.'