Fleet News

Remarketing: Become a selling CHAMP

REMARKETING can be as basic or as complicated as you want it to be. But if you remember a simple acronym, BCA’s customer affairs director Tom Madden claims, you will not go far wrong, whatever your approach.

CHAMP, standing for Condition, History, Age, Mileage and Preparation, represents the elements of vehicle remarketing.

Madden said: ‘Professional industry buyers judge and value vehicles on these key factors. Professional sellers who attend to the elements of CHAMP are likely to enjoy the best possible return on their vehicles in the shortest possible time.’

Madden explained how fleet managers can steer their operation towards CHAMP principles.

CONDITION

MAKE it part of the driver’s duties to report any damage in service. For professional leasing companies this is enshrined in the contract with the appropriate financial penalties in place. But fair wear and tear needs to be addressed for a corporate fleet.

The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) has the industry standard but check whether this is appropriate to the operation and adapt it as part of the fleet policy for individual company drivers.

Fleets could also introduce a mid-lease/mid-service inspection carried out by a third party.

HISTORY

USE administrative controls to ensure vehicles are properly maintained according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Make sure document administration is up to scratch, as errors will cost the company money.

Up to 50% of documents are likely to contain minor errors on detailed verification such as wrong address or fleet number, or mismatch on VIN number versus registration details.

When a vehicle is sent into the remarketing chain, make sure all the documents are available and provided at the point of sale.

AGE

COMPLIANCE to the fleet policy must be adhered to as this will ensure vehicles come out of service in good time. Any age benefit gained in remarketing terms from churning vehicles earlier may impact on business operating costs.

Unless there is a real manufacturer incentive to do so, avoid taking on vehicles in the last days of the year – a week or two later and they are already last year’s model.

The rush for company vehicle changeover in December 2005 was driven by benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax with no benefit to the operational cost of the company.

MILEAGE

AS with age, follow the fleet policy and make sure vehicles come out of service at the right mileage. For leased vehicles, ensure drivers face a penalty if they are returned over the mileage agreed in the contract.

Motorists still think mileage matters. But it is usage that matters more, because 90,000 miles mainly in fifth gear on the motorways does much less damage to the vehicle than half that mileage on city streets mostly in first and second gear. Generally the lower the mileage for the year, the better in remarketing terms.

PREPARATION

IN today’s competitive marketplace, selling vehicles in an unprepared condition is like pouring money down the drain. A simple wash and leather is simply not good enough. To maximise the value in the asset, make used vehicles look like new.

A structured vehicle preparation service at the point of sale will offer a range of services including steam cleaning for the engine bay, a machine operated polish to make the bodywork shine and repair to interior trim where mobile phone hands-free kits have been removed.

If there is damage to body and paint, cold metal dent removal and localised paint repairs may be the cheapest and quickest option.

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