Fleet News

CAP releases used car condition benchmarking criteria for trade valuations

Definitive vehicle condition criteria for accurate used car valuation benchmarking have been released by CAP.

It aims to end any uncertainty over what qualifies as a ‘CAP Clean’ vehicle and meets the used car industry’s demand for an intelligent, transparent and clearly understandable independent benchmark in an increasingly volatile market.

The publication of a clear scorecard, detailing the precise criteria for CAP’s three condition pricing points – clean, average and below – addresses one of the most common issues often dividing used car trade buyers and disposers.

For example, buyers frequently complain that some disposers set auction reserve prices at CAP Clean for cars which are of CAP Average condition.

The release of a points-based scoring system to definitively establish any vehicle’s condition in relation to CAP valuation benchmarks provides a common language on which to base a trade transaction that is more clearly understandable than ever before.

To precisely identify the condition of a vehicle CAP has listed the common features for appraisal in each of the following areas: exterior bodywork, lights/glass/mirrors, wheels/tyres/interior trim and documentation/keys.

Within each of these areas a clearly defined point-scoring system enables those appraising the vehicle to record items requiring remedial work. Such items are graded intelligently so that – for example – a light scuff adds fewer points than the need for a new tyre.

A completed checklist results in a points total which defines the condition grade of the vehicle. The system also intelligently takes into account vehicle age, thus avoiding the longstanding areas of industry debate such as how to clearly distinguish between a three-year-old CAP Clean car and a CAP Clean five-year-old vehicle.

To take into account the differences in the significance of features in different sectors – for example the cost of tyres for a typical heavy 4x4 – the scoring system has been adapted appropriately for each vehicle segment.

The CAP condition criteria and grading system will first be published across CAP’s used car valuation products, with plans also being developed for a smartphone application.

CAP development director Anthony Doherty said: “Although CAP Clean is almost universally recognised as an essential independent condition and valuation benchmark across the industry, it is important that it is properly understood and applied appropriately.

“By defining precisely what qualifies as a clean, average or below average condition vehicle we intend to help both buyers and sellers in the trade market to negotiate from a position of mutual understanding rather than from the starting point of disagreements over valuation criteria we so often see at present.”

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