It is also considerably cheaper so any extra return in the shape of used values is higher than before smart repairs existed.
Meanwhile, as the skill of technicians and technology develops, more areas of a vehicle will be smart repairable. Already glass chips can be fixed using resin, rather than replacing the windscreen. And with more dealership buyers using the internet to find ex-fleet vehicles, a good reputation for vendors is increasingly important.
Lynch says: ‘Used car buyers will only buy online if they have confidence in the product and that means sellers must accurately describe their vehicles.’
So, there are benefits galore to fixing up your vehicles before shipping them off. But be warned – Kevin Clarke, operations director of the Fleet Auction Group, says that careful assessment of vehicles is needed to get the best out of smart repair. He says: ‘The key is to make sure, in consultation with the auction firm, that any outlay on smart increases its attractiveness at its first presentation.’
Lynch concurs. ‘There is a significant difference between the type of repair that should be carried out on a six-month-old ex-daily rental or vehicle manufacturer car and a typical three-year-old company car.
‘Some companies are over-selling smart repairs and using these modern repair methods wrongly on certain vehicle damage can adversely affect the overall condition of the car.’
With older cars, expert analysis involves a fine judgement of the commercial viability of the extent of repairs. Dealers have certain expectations of a newer car, which must be virtually blemish free, whilst minor blemishes on the bonnet and scratches on other body panels will be acceptable on an older vehicle.