Physical buyers have been welcomed back to the auction halls of Shoreham Vehicle Auctions (SVA) for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic.
The safe working environment has been signed off by Aviva insurance and overseen by the local constabulary, says SVA.
While physical buyers remain off limits to many auctions, managing director Alex Wright was keen to welcome them back.
“When we spoke to buyers post lockdown it was obvious that a large percentage wanted to come back into the halls,” he explained. “We started planning our road back to normality based on their feedback.”
So far it has welcomed its top 50 account customers back to the halls. Wright said: “They have told us they feel they are working in a safe environment when with us.
“The response has been very positive, and I know we have attracted scores of buyers from other auctions that are only currently trading online.”
NAMA graded vehicle appraisals have also been integral to the successful re-opening of Shoreham with both online and physical buyers, as well as the fact that 94% of all of vehicle purchases are being delivered to buyers in 48 hours.
SVA remains shut for private buyers.
Recent data has shown that the used car market halved in quarter two, but year-to-date decline and recent used car sales show the sector is recovering.
There were just over 1 million used car transactions during April, May and June, 48.9% down on the 2 million-plus used cars sold during the same quarter in 2019.
The pace of decline eased as the quarter progressed, from a peak year-on-year loss of 74.2% in April to 17.5% in June.
In fact, due to that strong start to 2020 and the increasing demand seen as lockdown has been eased, in the first six months of 2020, used car transactions were only down by 28.7% overall, with 2.89 million units changing hands.