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Vehicle valuation becoming more complex but data accuracy improving, says Glass’s

However, it added that despite this increasing complexity, overall levels of accuracy are improving, even if some less robust players are being driven out of the market for valuation data as a result of these pressures.

Rupert Pontin, head of valuations at Glass's, said: "Being able to access accurate valuations data is essential for anyone involved in buying and selling used vehicles of any kind but the process of producing this information is, we believe, becoming ever more difficult.

"Look back a few years and there was much less model diversity. Also, the number of disposal routes was a fraction of what can be found today and the impact of macroeconomic trends on values tended to be less. The picture was really a lot simpler.

"Now, the situation has changed completely and, while we are able to use much improved technology in order to handle this increased complexity, the core task of valuations is getting ever more complicated."

Pontin said that this was the reason that some smaller and less committed companies were being slowly driven out of the sector and also why some quite large disparities on valuations could be found.

"Simply to collect the raw data needed to make valuations today means that you have to be a sizeable operation and to know how to process that information requires a very specialised skillset. However, despite this, we are actually becoming increasingly accurate."

Pontin said that Glass's had an overall residual value accuracy of 98.8%, much better than any competitor.

He added: "We are proud of our record in this area and are making strides forward all of the time. However, our view is that the job of vehicle valuation is only going to get more difficult over time, and we are continually looking at new techniques and sources of information in order to enhance our accuracy."

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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.