Duplication of the same vehicles – offering them for sale over the internet and in auction houses at the same time – is creating ‘ghost’ vehicles which could be leading to a false picture of volumes available in the marketplace and artificially depressing market values.
But the claim is disputed by auction house BCA, which says ghosting is nothing more than over-marketing and a long-established part of vehicle trading.
Mike Pilkington, managing director of Vehicle Remarketing Solutions, said: ‘By choosing the right route to market for each vehicle, you can be sure you will achieve the best possible price for your end-of-term vehicle with the fastest turnaround.
‘Direct remarketing enables disposal managers to effectively mask the volumes available and maintain residual values.
‘When the market is under pressure, choosing the right remarketing route is even more important and the consequences of making the wrong choices are exacerbated.’
But BCA’s director of customer affairs, Tom Madden, disagreed.
He said: ‘The trade will advertise the same car for sale in a number of channels simultaneously to reach the widest possible audience.
‘We have no evidence that ‘ghosting’ is creating a false impression of stock availability in the B2B marketplace and therefore depressing prices. If anything, stock is somewhat short currently and we have seen prices rising in certain sectors.
‘If fleet managers are attempting to sell the same car in different arenas at the same time – and we have no evidence they are – then they should look at the additional costs they are incurring by doing this. After all, you can only sell the car once, but you can pay no end of fees not to sell it.’