Car Dealer Live

‘Digital will only grow but physical auctions are going nowhere’ – Dealer Auction

  • We catch up with Dealer Auction sales director, Jason Symes to discuss what the future looks like for the remarketing sector. Sponsored

Time 8:30 am, May 20, 2024

Physical auctions for car dealers are here to stay despite a rise in digital buying.

That is the verdict of Dealer Auction sales director, Jason Symes, who believes that ‘there will always be a market’ for in-person auctions.

Symes joined us on the latest episode of Car Dealer Live to chat all things remarketing and he certainly had some interesting thoughts when it came to the ways dealers pick up stock.


He told host James Batchelor that digital is ‘only going to grow’ but emphasised the importance of Dealer Auction offering multiple different services.

A recent study by the firm found that the majority of retailers buy from at least three different sources, meaning that Dealer Auction has to remain across a variety of platforms in order to offer its customers the very best service.

When asked between the balance between physical and digital, Symes said: ‘I think it’s difficult to say, which might be a bit of a cop out, but it’s a well debated topic!


‘Obviously, with the increase of things like electronic vehicles within remarketing, ideally you want the least movements as is at possible end of life for those vehicles, whether it’s part-exchange or de-fleet.

‘In theory with digital selling, there’s at least one less movement – of picking up the car and taking it to an auction centre or a traditional remarketing partner – and it’s definitely grown in popularity.

‘Obviously Covid was a big part of the acceleration into digital and people having to become comfortable buying digitally and buying online.

‘Naturally, with my Cox automotive background, I can see the need of managing an asset, particularly with fleet and OEMs, and using things like Manheim Vehicle Services because I think there’ll always be a vehicle type or a type of person that wants to buy from a physical auction.

‘We actually did a buyer survey recently and we know that buyers buy from at least three sources – that includes digital online, physical and obviously car buying is kind of a new thing in the market.

‘I suppose where we help with that is we collate from lots of different sources. We have got the digital aspect and we do aggregate physical vehicles as well.

‘I guess there will always be a place for that physical and managing the asset but I do firmly believe that digital will only grow and we’ll see that in the future.’

Looking ahead to the future, Dealer Auction is looking to ramp up the number of vehicles it can aggregate, from a variety of sources, as it hopes to stock as many as 70,000 vehicles at a time.

Symes added: ‘What our ambition really is, is to become that one-stop shop.


‘If someone wants to buy a vehicle, we become that one stop shop and what we do really is we aggregate as many vehicles as we can from lots of different sources.

‘If you as a regular user, which I’m sure people today viewing this will be, you could at some point see up to 60-70,000 vehicles aggregated within the dealer auction platform.’

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Car Dealer has been covering the motor trade since 2008 as both a print and digital publication. In 2020 the title went fully digital and now provides daily motoring updates on this website for the car industry. A digital magazine is published once a month.



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