Condition of Ex-Lease Cars a Concern Says Used Car Sector
- April 18, 2019
- Posted by: John Swift
- Category: Automotive Industry
Used car dealers trying to source stock say they are facing growing numbers of ex-lease vehicles which have been badly repaired leaving them to deal with the cost of extra remedial work before they are fit for sale.
Trade insiders say the problem is getting worse because of the growth of personal leasing in both the new and second-hand sectors. Private motorists are not as familiar with the standards of vehicle condition expected at the end of the contract as fleets or company car managers and when they do get a repair done often go for the cheapest price possible.
Paint and bodywork issues are the most common area of concern in stock coming to auction or being advertised online but the trade says electrical and mechanical faults are also being seen more often now too.
Sam Watkins, of the Vehicle Remarketing Association, said:
“Previous poor repairs are a real problem when it comes to a vehicle sale. They affect the value, they make the vehicle trickier to sell and they can lead to a delay in the sale if they need to be brought up to an acceptable standard.
“Our members are telling us that they are becoming more and more common. The issue, we believe, is being caused by the rise of PCP and PCH in both the new and used sectors. Traditional leasing customers tend to know about expectations when it comes to vehicle repair standards but private motorists are often leasing a car for the first time.”
Repaired as Cheaply as Possible
“If the vehicle is damaged, they will sometimes seek to get it repaired as cheaply as possible, which means repairs ranging from marginally sub-standard through to what can only be termed ‘bodges’ where the customers has attempted their own repair.”
She added: “In the worst cases, the delay to sale can be considerable because the car has to be sent to a specialist that has the knowledge and equipment needed to carry out the work.”
The VRA says the problem needs to be addressed at the front end of the original deal when customers taking out the initial lease are told quite clearly what standards the car needs to be in when it is returned and what their liabilities are when they sign the contract.
And even though they should be charged to fix any faults before the car is accepted back, too many are escaping through the net and going into the usual routes of disposal where used car retailers often source their stock.
“Really, what we need is for better communication with leasing customers to make them aware of their responsibilities in terms of maintaining the condition of the vehicle to try and stop the problem occurring at source.”
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