Fleet News

Fleet disposals hit by unrealistic reserves

Fleets disposing of their end-of-contract cars at auction are setting unrealistically high reserves, resulting in unsold cars.

Research carried out by CAP reveals that vehicles offered in what is claimed to be CAP Clean condition are in fact not, with some falling way below the standard required.

CAP uses the Clean, Average and Below conditions to help adjust values for vehicles depending on their condition (see below).

Of 300 vehicles on offer at a randomly selected major auction site, CAP found that 29% were in CAP Clean condition, while a further 25% were just below Clean, but above Average condition.

The average reserves set at the auction were 98% of CAP Clean – providing a clear indication that many reserves were set unrealistically high. Of the cars judged to be in Average condition by CAP, 60% failed to sell because they did not meet the vendors’ reserves.

CAP conditions


  • Ready to retail or requiring little or no refurbishment
  • Full service history
  • All documents/spare keys/ security codes available
  • Clean and well cared-for interior, free from damage
  • Current MoT certificate
  • Mechanically sound


  • In reasonable condition for age/mileage
  • All documents available
  • Interior largely undamaged
  • Current MoT certificate
  • Mechanically sound
  • Requires some work, other than cleaning/servicing


  • Incomplete or damaged interior trim
  • Damaged or corroded bodywork
  • Little or no MoT remaining
  • Mechanically poor
  • Uneconomical to restore to acceptable standard
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