If you lease your vehicles, then the thorny subject of remarketing will not raise its head. At the end of the lease period, your provider will simply take the vehicles away and provide you with some nice shiny new ones.
Leasing relieves the busy van fleet operator of many of the headaches involved with getting shot of end-of-life vehicles. But it doesn’t come cheap and although your company won’t have money tied up in its vehicles, leasing will ultimately cost more than the straight purchase of a fleet in the long run.
So just what do you do with vans you want to get rid of? The answer to that question depends very much on how much time and energy you are prepared to invest in making sure you get the best possible price for those vehicles.
The obvious – and probably most hassle-free – solution is to sell through an auction house and indeed the argument for using this route is getting stronger by the year as the big auction houses offer new and better services.
Duncan Ward, BCA’s business development manager – commercial vehicles at BCA, said: “If you are a business looking to sell a used commercial vehicle, a quick, hassle-free service and guaranteed return of funds makes for an appealing combination.
“Auction is the fastest, most efficient way to convert a valuable, but depreciating asset into cash. Current true market value will be achieved and – more importantly – funds are guaranteed and will be back on the company bottom line
“With a range of routes to market – physical auction and web-based channels such as BCA’s Live Online, Bid Now, Buy Now and e-Auction – the modern remarketing company reaches more buyers at the same time than ever before. Comprehensive online cataloguing and stock locator services mean buyers can easily find the vans they want to buy and then bid in the auction hall or via the internet.
“Remarketing companies offer a range of value-added services to make the seller’s life easier and the sale process more efficient. This includes end-of-life inspection, appraisal and valuation, and collection and transport of both running and non-running stock.
“Pre-sale vehicle preparation will add value to any van and ranges from a simple powerwash to specialised ‘ready to retail’ processes, including trade name deletion and vinyl wrap removal – all done at the point of sale to save time and money.
“Our seller customers range from one or two vehicles a year, to several thousand. Every one has access to a full range of services that suits their needs.
“For volume sellers this might entail inventory and document management, dedicated marketing support and a branded sales programme with discreet online sales. For a small business, it could mean the collection and delivery of a light van to the nearest BCA centre, where it is valued, valeted and sold in the next LCV sale.”
But don’t run away with the idea that auctions are the only route for selling vans. Just as the internet has opened up the possibility of more bids for firms such as BCA and Manheim, it has also given individuals the opportunity to chance their arms on websites such as Auto Trader and eBay.
Selling vans by such routes is as simple as filling in a form, but there are some important points to remember. It is essential that you tell the truth. If your vans have been used to lug bricks and cement around for three years and are not much more than mobile rubbish skips, don’t flag them up as being in good condition.
A prospective buyer will soon see through your ruse and will warn other buyers, so that your name will soon become mud and your vehicles won’t sell.
But just because you tell the truth, don’t necessarily assume that everyone else does. There are a million and one scams involved with buying vehicles so make sure you have the cash in the bank before handing over the keys. A cheque is not cash, even when it has seemingly been ‘cleared’ by your bank.
You may well get involved in other hassles too after the vans have been sold, especially if they suddenly break down days after you’ve sold them.
After such an occurrence you will have to send time and effort sorting such problems out – and it may be time that you can ill afford to lose.
One disposal route that many fleet operators tend to forget about is a simple trade-in with your local van dealer. This can be particularly lucrative for those who operate solus badge fleets. If you buy, say, 100 Ford Transits every two years, it will be very much in your local franchised dealer’s interests to keep you sweet and coming back for more. There are plenty of rival manufacturers, after all, who would give their right arms for such business.
So if your dealer doesn’t show any inclination to cough up a good price for your used vans it might well be advantageous to give the impression that a rival dealer is interested in your fleet, even if this isn’t actually true. The thought of losing valuable ongoing business could well persuade him to offer you a much better deal.