Vehicle manufacturers should make it easier for the used car sector to check which items of essential equipment need to be included with a car or van that is for sale, says the Vehicle Remarketing Association (VRA).
These could potentially include smart keys, different charging cables for EVs and PHEVs, and removable tablet displays in some high-end models.
Sam Watkins, deputy chair at the VRA, said: “More and more equipment is finding its way onto cars – and vans too - that is easily removable but which potentially costs a lot of money to replace if it is missing.
“These items are essential to the operation of the vehicle and the car or van generally cannot be sold without them. In many instances, the retailer or trader ends up footing the bill, which can easily be more than their margin in the vehicle.
“The problem is that it is very difficult at first glance to know what equipment should be provided with a used car. Even the most informed motor industry professional is unlikely to be able to examine a vehicle quickly and have a mental checklist.
“What we need is a fast and easy industry resource and the people best-placed to provide this information are motor manufacturers themselves.”
Watkins explained that the information would benefit manufacturers because it would help to keep residual values firm. “What a manufacturer doesn’t want to happen is that the trade starts to avoid a particular model because it becomes known that the smart key is often missing and costs hundreds of pounds to replace,” he said.
“All it would take is regularly updated information that would allow trade buyers to quickly check what items should be included with a vehicle. This could be disseminated through the established pricing data companies and the manufacturers themselves.”
As more and more vehicles are fitted with a range of equipment that can be easily removed, the need for this kind of resource will become more and more acute, says the VRA.
“To some extent, the same principle also applies to some items that are sold as options but are generally bought with the car, especially on EVs and hybrids,” continued Watkins. “These may include different charging cables and converters that can be expensive to buy and replace.”