Fleet News

Unrealistic reserves clog up auction halls

Fleets have been criticised for insisting on inappropriately high reserve prices at auction, which it is claimed is “clogging up” the market because stock is not selling.

The RMI Society of Motor Auctions has lambasted the industry, saying some fleet operators are demanding clean reserve prices for cars in below average condition. It says some stock remains on books for more than 100 days, despite being repeatedly offered for sale.

Alistair Manson, SMA director, said: “This is both unrealistic and uneconomical as unsold vehicles often sell for less than the first bid later.”

Reports from both Manheim and BCA told of record prices in the first quarter of 2007, when vehicles at auction were being sold well above the reserve prices, but this was partly due to a shortage of stock. Since Easter the market has become more competitive.

Manson continued: “Fleet operators need to face the reality of a changing market and ensure that vehicles are realistically valued when entered into the remarketing and auction arena.

“With increased volumes from March registrations and a general weakening in market conditions, it is vital for fleet owners to appreciate that demand has slackened, values are falling and unsold inventory is building.”

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