Fleet News

BCA market report: prepared for anything!

The remarketing rules for vans are really no different than they are for cars – proper preparation and good presentation are vital if your LCVs are going to achieve the best possible price in the auction hall.

The vendor must ensure the vehicles’ condition is commensurate with its age and mileage and pre-sale preparation and professional trade name deletion is critical to this.

Smart Preparation – the process of bringing vehicles back to ‘showroom condition’, through paint technology, cold metal dent removal and repairs to interior and trim – can have a vital role to play here.

This new technology has been introduced by BCA to help vendors maximise returns in the auction hall, by ensuring vehicles look their very best when they are sold.

Currently vendors are enjoying significant returns on their ‘preparation investment’ and notable improvements in entry to sale ratio.

While Smart Preparation is largely used by car vendors, its application can be equally important in the van market, provided vehicles are chosen carefully.

For a 2003 model year van at 10,000 miles in good condition, but with a few small dents on two panels, Smart Prepared can be a cost-efficient choice for the vendor.

The return on the investment to bring a five-year-old, 100,000 mile van, without a straight panel to its name, back to ‘showroom condition’ is likely to be less rewarding. However, vendors are finding the Smart Detailing service valuable for older vehicles, as it presents them in the best possible light. Here, vehicles are trade name deleted, the engine bay is steam cleaned and all the exterior paintwork is polished and de-greased. The end result is a well-prepared vehicle that looks its best whatever the condition may be.

Trade name deletion should be done to a high standard so that the company’s name and logo are removed without damage to body or paint. With proper treatment, potential buyers will be presented with a clean body panel, which the next owner can customise or re-logo. The eventual retail buyer will expect to see a clean panel to rebrand, as appropriate.

This not only adds value to the seller – it is often a legal requirement for contract hire organisations to remove livery of the first life owner. There is also a specific need for livery to be removed in the case of security and courier firms.

With the now-commonplace use of vinyl stickers to brand vehicles, trade-name deletion can be conducted to the very highest standards, but it’s worth considering that if it is not done correctly then it can actually devalue the vehicle. Remember, the stickers have actually formed a weatherproof surface over the area they have covered and, once removed, will leave pristine paintwork which may not match the rest of the vehicle! Then there are the examples where the stickers have almost welded on over time.

In all these cases, it is important that the removal is done without damaging the panel. There is the potential for problems to arise when livery is painted on rather than using removable vinyl stickers. While modern technology allows the majority to be prepared without complications, it is important not to simply obliterated the ‘problem’ with more paint.

It’s worth remembering in a competitive market, anything the fleet operator can do to make his or her vehicles more desirable, will have a benefit where it really matters – back on the bottom line of the operating company.

And, that, surely is what being prepared is all about!

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