UK motor auctions have told the National Association of Motor Auctions (NAMA) it is ‘business as usual’ despite the four-week lockdown in England and the additional restrictions across the country.
NAMA has recently held a member meeting where auctioneers discussed the challenges facing their businesses due to COVID-19 and analysed the current and future state of the market. The majority of businesses suggested it is ‘business as usual’ despite the lockdown currently in place in England and the additional restrictions across the UK forcing most auction houses to remain closed and focus on online sales, collection and deliveries.
Louise Wallis, Head of NAMA, commented: “Following the first lockdown, businesses are now more familiar with running auctions under covid-safe procedures. Positively, it is business as usual for most auctions thanks to auctioneers’ ability to adapt, focus on online sales and carry on doing business in a safe and compliant way.
“Online auctions have been performing extremely well and we are pleased to see that the NAMA Grading Scheme* continues to support sales. The scheme allows buyers to identify quickly the vehicle that they want, and it provides them with additional information via the detailed report available to them.
“Following a particularly strong year, the market remains ahead of 2019’s levels despite all the challenges and it would be normal to experience a slight realignment over the coming weeks”.
According to cap hpi, volumes of sold wholesale data have been relatively consistent before and after “lockdown 2” commenced, although these were not at the peaks they were at in September. Trade buyers are still buying, although not to the same degree as in previous months.
Enquiry levels at retailers remain healthy and ‘click & collect’ sales to consumers have been to a level that meant it has been well worth dealers, independents and supermarkets remaining open virtually.
Derren Martin, Head of Valuations UK for cap hpi added: “From our perspective, retail values are holding quite firm, whereas trade prices continue to drop in November. Cap Live values have been dropping steadily since late September, but we have not seen a huge acceleration in this over the last two weeks.
“It is important to remember that on average, used values are over 5% higher than they were a year ago, for a like-for-like car at the same age and mileage point. This is very unusual and with the fourth quarter of the year generally being a period when there is more pressure on prices, plus some reduction in the buoyant demand factors of the summer 2020, it is unsurprising that values are dropping.
“We expect values to continue to drop for a few weeks, although they may stabilise depending on when lockdown ends and the proximity to Christmas”.
NOTES TO EDITORS
*The NAMA Grading Scheme was developed by NAMA to enhance transparency and make it easier for auction buyers to select the vehicles they want to buy. The scheme has 5 grades that are based on the external condition of a vehicle. The grades are determined on a points system allocated by type and severity of damage. Grades are assessed by inspectors at each auction specifically trained to grade vehicles and working to a strict standard.
The Retail Motor Industry represents the interests of operators in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man providing sales and services to motorists and businesses. The RMI has a formal association with the independent Scottish Motor Trade Association which represents the retail motor industry in Scotland.