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Providing extra vehicle info could improve fleet auction values and conversions, says NAMA

That was the view of members of the National Association of Motor Auctions (NAMA) at its recent Trading Standards presentation.

At the event, it was highlighted that more customers are becoming aware of their consumer rights, which were made more transparent through the Consumer Rights Act of October 2015. Dealers are being encouraged by Trading Standards to pay closer attention to their responsibilities under consumer protection legislation and this carries implications for fleet managers.

At a recent used car conference, a Trading Standards Officer reminded a large used car dealer audience of the repercussions of creating a misleading impression about the previous usage of a vehicle. For example, giving the impression that a vehicle has one previous user – through the use of statements such as ‘one previous owner’ – when in fact it is an ex-business use vehicle that may have had multiple previous users represents an offence.

NAMA added that providing this information could enable fleets to gain an edge in values and conversions.

NAMA’s Louise Wallis said: “There can be no question that consumers are increasingly aware of their rights. Dealers at the recent Used Car NI Conference were unusually vocal in questioning the Trading Standards speaker. It was clearly the event’s ‘hot topic’. The NAMA Grading Scheme goes a long way to helping dealers to make an informed buying decision and we urge vendors to help us to help them by providing full information on service history, usage, repairs and mileage with as much supporting information as possible.

“Accurate information unquestionably helps conversions and where this supports a quality vehicle it can help values as well.”

NAMA also said that Trading Standards has warned about vendors and sellers who believe that a simple ‘buyer beware’ ethos can be relied upon by a dealer, by using words or statements such as ‘Sold as Seen’ or ‘Trade Sale Only’ or ‘No Refund’. Even if the statement ‘this does not affect your statutory rights’, the Trading Standards interpretation is that these are misleading statements that can carry criminal or civil sanctions.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 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.