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Demand rises for retail-ready used car stock as lockdown eases

Time 1 year ago

Used car stock that’s ready to sell is becoming increasingly in demand in the post-lockdown market.

That’s according to the Vehicle Remarketing Association, whose chairwoman Sam Watkins said that one of the ongoing effects of the pandemic was erratic transportation.

‘Thanks to the strong sales performance seen by used car retailers following the easing of lockdown, most are now entering back into a cycle of replenishing their stock, and generally nearly all of the important elements of the market are now working as normal.

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‘However, some difficult issues remain, especially around the movement of vehicles, which are not yet back to usual levels of efficiency. That is introducing sometimes quite lengthy delays in getting a vehicle to a dealer.’

This meant they had less time and were less inclined to get a car ready for sale themselves, as it meant an even longer time-to-sale.

She added: ‘In addition, as the digitisation of vehicle retailing expands, especially on used vehicles, clarity on vehicle condition for the consumer is critical in building trust and confidence.

‘That’s why there is now a noticeably higher demand for retail-ready stock. It’s all about the fastest possible turnaround and the quickest return on capital.’

As such, large organisations such as leasing companies, and even dealers themselves, were looking into using centralised resources to recondition and transport vehicles.


‘There is definitely more interest in this area, and not just because of the coronavirus crisis. Increased complexity in vehicle technology, such as advanced driver-assistance systems, is having an additional impact on dealer appetites to operate reconditioning services in-house.

‘It is possible that we are starting to see a structural shift, where an increasing number of dealers see themselves as no longer in the business of bringing vehicles up to a necessary market standard.

‘Large-scale vendors of vehicles into the used market sector are realising that they will need to meet this changing need, so are increasingly looking to ensure that as much of their stock falls into the retail-ready category as possible.

“Putting in place processes that satisfy this demand is an obvious step and something that we expect to see emerge as a major trend over the course of the second half of 2020.’

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John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

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