Industry trade bodies have united to publish new safety guidance for the remarketing sector as businesses begin to re-open following the lockdown.
The Vehicle Remarketing Association (VRA), the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA), the Fleet and Leasing Association (FLA) and the National Association of Motor Auctioneers (NAMA) came together to produce the new document – Covid-19 Guidance for Vehicle Collection, Delivery, Distribution, Storage and Technical Services.
It is designed to clarify the requirements that apply on vehicle and parts collections, delivery and distribution, storage and technical services.
Philip Nothard, vice chair at the VRA, explained that the four trade bodies came together some three weeks ago to start drawing up the guidance.
He said: “We were aware that specific guidance was being created for other areas of remarketing – such as motor auctions – but not around the movement and technical services side, which we consider to be essential to the efficient and effective working of remarketing processes across the industry.”
He explained: “It made sense to all work together to provide a unified and authoritative approach in this area, rather than all the industry bodies releasing competing and perhaps even potentially contradictory guidance, creating a degree of confusion.
“We’ve worked hard to access the expertise that exists in each of the four trade bodies to provide best practice advice that has genuine relevance for businesses that are coming out of lockdown and want to do their very best to protect employees and customers.”
Nothard says the document is not intended to provide guidance at a granular level but instead help remarketing businesses create an infrastructure for their Covid-19 safety measures.
“It is very much a digest of all of the existing Government advice at this point in time, presented in such a way that it allows organisations to see how it applies to their business and the areas in which they need to take action,” he said.
“This is very much about explaining the guidelines and the legal framework within which organisations are having to operate using language and a format that is easy to understand, rather than advising on specifics.”
Many expect Covid-19 to transform the used car market, with more vehicles being sold online at the expense of physical sales in the future.
Manheim re-started its online auction programme in the past couple of weeks, with stock available through ‘buy now’ events and ‘virtual auctions’.
Its parent company, Cox Automotive, believes online buying whether wholesale or retail is the only way to adapt to the new restrictions and processes.
Indeed, digital auction platform Adesa UK says the way defleeted cars are remarketed will undergo a paradigm shift from physical auctions to online, when lockdown restrictions ease.