When fleet vehicles have reached the end of their lifespan or lease contract and are no longer serviceable, you’ll need to dispose of them in a timely and efficient manner. However, due to the expensive nature of these assets, you’ll also want to receive a favourable price.
Just like any other automotive sale, there are various ways in which you can improve a vehicle’s residual value. A few of these steps might require some expenditure, while others could take a bit of time to carry out, but if you can achieve a noticeable difference in price It will be worth it in the long run.
Be pro-active and act quickly
If the end of your contract or the vehicle’s lifespan is fast approaching, you should start the remarketing process sooner rather than later. Inspect the vehicle for damage, make sure there are no missing keys or documentation and see whether it falls in line with the BVRLA’s approved standards.
When the time for remarketing comes, you can be confident that a fair price will be received and won’t need to worry about any unexpected issues.
Clean and valet your vehicle
Dirty vehicles that still have a business’s possessions inside will not attract much attention. On top of that, waste such as rubble, wood and concrete can cost a lot to dispose of, which any buyer has to take into consideration.
Therefore, before going to sale, have your vehicles thoroughly cleaned out and get them valeted. Some purchasers won’t be too concerned with shiny paintwork or spotless interiors, but you might be surprised how much it could affect the price.
Get the vehicle serviced
Even if a vehicle has reached the end of its life for your business, it could still be perfectly useable for another enterprise. They will want the vehicle to be equally as reliable, dependable and long lasting. Therefore, getting a service is highly recommended.
Taking your vehicle to the main dealer is preferable, particularly with executive cars, as the purchaser will want assurances that work has been carried out to a high standard. Remember to ask for a stamp or documentation proving that a comprehensive service has taken place.
Explore every disposal channel
There are various disposal channels you can choose from for fleet remarketing, but take some time to explore the different options. From franchised dealers and car supermarkets to auction houses and other retail opportunities, you don’t always have to pick just one channel either.
Auction houses are the biggest and most popular remarketing platform, as it doesn’t take a long time for vehicles to be sold and a larger number of buyers are present. The competitive atmosphere also means a favourable price can be achieved too.
Give drivers the option to buy your vehicles
Despite the fact that you’re reducing the number of potential buyers, selling your vehicle to existing employees can be beneficial. You might not achieve a higher price, but you could save time and money compared to selling through traditional disposal channels.
If you set-up a sales scheme and make your employees aware of this, drivers might be more conscious and careful on the roads, as they could be interested in buying the vehicle in the future.
Collect and collate documentation
If any important documents are missing, you’ll struggle to attract buyers or achieve a decent price. Along with the V5 registration document, your vehicle should also have a valid MOT, service history and as many receipts or repair bills as possible.
Some disposal channels may not even sell your vehicle if certain documents are missing, while an absent service history might raise question marks over mileage. If you cannot locate your V5 registration, contact the DVLA for a replacement.
Sell your vehicles at the best time
Although the volume of available vehicles often makes a difference, there are certain times of the year when better prices can be achieved. Historically, January through to March and August until October are key times for resale.
However, you’re not guaranteed to receive a more favourable price during these periods and more attention should be paid to pre-sale preparation and existing market conditions.
Think about location
Even though the Internet has eliminated ‘geographical hotspots’, you may be able to find greater success at different locations. Your local auction house might be convenient, but there is every chance you won’t generate the highest price possible.
Identify where there could be a greater demand for your vehicles and capitalise on any sales opportunities. But if this is going to take too much time, effort or resources, it might not be worth it.
Think carefully about repairing damage
Vehicle appearance is an important consideration for most fleet operators and visible signs of damage are bound to have an impact on price. However, it might not make sense to carry out potentially expensive repairs, as some buyers won’t mind the odd scuff or scratch here and there.
Where possible, carry out smart repairs, as these won’t slow down the speed of a sale and shouldn’t cost too much to implement. Accurate condition reporting is imperative if you’re selling your vehicle online, but auction houses will be able to perform inspections and provide repair recommendations too.
Get your drivers to pay for any damage
If a vehicle does have noticeable damage that requires repair, but you’re not willing to pay for the work, you could always ask the guilty driver to cover the cost. If you put certain conditions in place before the driver gets behind the wheel of a brand new vehicle, you can avoid future disputes as well.
One of the best ways to monitor and track driver behaviour is through a fleet telematics system, which has numerous additional benefits too. These include lowering insurance premiums, improving efficiency, and bringing down overheads.
Send vehicles to a de-fleet company
If you do not have the time or inclination to perform the aforementioned tasks, you can always send your vehicles to a de-fleet company. These specialists will aim to maximise residual values in the shortest time possible.
From mechanical inspection and preparation to reconditioning and smart repairs, de-fleet companies can perform an extensive range of services. However, you may want to receive guarantees or assurances that they will be able to achieve a higher price.
Modify vehicles with caution
If you require modifications to your fleet, chose a vehicle conversion company who will execute the fit-out with discretion to ensure maximum resale value. Heavy modifications will more likely cost you more in repairs or result in a lower resale price if modifications are left untouched. Having to repair drilled holes in body work for example is costly and completely avoidable if you choose the right conversion partner.
Remarketing fleet vehicles is an issue that should be carefully considered throughout the buying and selling stages. Things like colour, optional extras and low mileage might cost you extra, but it also means you can recoup more money when it comes to selling.
However, if you’re coming to the end of a contract or vehicle’s lifespan, you can still attract a positive price through a few simple measures. Cleaning and servicing the vehicle is fairly obvious, but you don’t always have to carry out every repair. Disposal channels also make a difference too and you should consider approaching your drivers with an option to buy.
But regardless of how, where and when you decide to remarket your fleet vehicles, always compare possible preparation expenditure with the amount you’ll actually receive from a sale.
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