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Business as usual for online auctions in third lockdown

Online car and van auctions are continuing to run in England and Scotland despite the latest lockdown restrictions.

The used vehicle sector has said it’s now well practised and prepared to trade through the constraints that lockdown imposes

Industry trade body the National Association of Motor Auctions (NAMA) said members are confident that online sales will continue to offset the closure of physical premises during the lockdown – as already seen in the previous lockdowns. Collections and deliveries will also continue to be carried out in line with government guidance.

Head of NAMA Louise Wallis said that business is expected to remain strong.

“During the previous lockdowns, auction houses demonstrated their ability to adapt and businesses are now capable of efficiently running successful online auctions,” she commented.

“Despite the significant, unexpected challenges, the auction market performed well last year. We are looking forward to 2021 with a Brexit deal now agreed and vaccines approved, which will restore a degree of confidence in the economy.”

BCA has said it’s very much business as usual, with its programme of live events continuing to offer thousands of vehicles in online auctions six days a week, available through a variety of online channels.

Buyers can log in via BCA Online or the BCA Buyer app to bid live or in timed auctions daily, or instantly purchase via the Buy Now channel, 24/7. And buyers can plan collections safely using BCA’s streamlined digital Click & Collect service for auction purchases.

UK chief operating officer Stuart Pearson commented: “Given the difficulties of 2020, the used vehicle sector is now well practised and prepared to trade through the constraints that lockdown imposes and BCA is there every step of the way to help our customers conduct their business safely and efficiently in these difficult times. We will continue to look for innovative ways to support our customers during the months ahead with enhancements to our digital services supporting the used vehicle sector.”

Meanwhile, Manheim parent firm Cox Automotive UK has said all business areas remain open for business.

For Manheim Auction Services, the Simulcast online auction programme will continue on a ‘click and collect’ basis, collecting and delivering vehicles in a safe and appropriate manner for those customers requiring that service. The Accelerate customer support programme remains in place.

The Manheim Vehicle Services also continues to operate using the Covid-secure working processes established during and after the first lock down. The business is working closely with customers to ensure processes are aligned, in particular with regards to vehicle collections and handovers.

Manheim Inspection Services is also still in operation, backed by Covid-secure processes and the business is continuing to work closely with customers to action inspection and collection jobs in a safe and appropriate manner.

A spokesperson for Cox said: “Our highest priority remains the safety and wellbeing of all employees, customers, contractors and suppliers. Action has been taken to protect and support colleagues who need to shield and those with childcare demands.

“We have very robust and well established Covid-secure processes and working practices in place throughout the business. In light of the revised guidance, we are nevertheless implementing enhanced Covid-secure measures in all areas.

“We continue to rigorously monitor, enforce and review these measures to ensure they remain fit for purpose and will make changes as and if required.”

For more of the latest industry news, click here.

Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.

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