When the UK went into lockdown, car auctions – like most businesses – had to close but, for some reason which escapes us, they are yet to reopen. This means that dealers are unable to restock so that potential buyers can only buy online or privately.
Showrooms are becoming increasingly empty with next to no stock and people who desperately need a new car for their work or private life are finding their options seriously curtailed.
We spoke to friends of OutNewsGlobal, CarwiseUK in Essex who, like many companies, are unable to secure a Bounce Back Loan. They told us, “Hundreds of used car dealerships all over the country are affected; stock is incredibly hard to buy and many businesses are going under.
“Trying to buy vehicles privately has also become a huge problem where prices have increased by 20% and the only way to keep businesses within this industry alive is for the government to allow car auctions to reopen their doors for physical auctions to take place again.”
Buying vehicles online isn’t ideal. If you are buying a vehicle you haven’t seen and find that there are faults with the vehicle, there can be problems in getting a refund or compensation. Online auction houses insist that all transactions are “sold as seen”, even though the purchaser hasn’t actually seen the vehicle. Go figure!
CarwiseUK continue, “Trying to arrange collection of a vehicle is also taking weeks when it would usually take only a few hours. We have personally experienced this with one of the UK’s largest auction houses where we purchased two vehicles and upon collection, one was totally undriveable due to engine failure and the other had extensive bodywork damage which had not been detailed on the auction website.
“Some garages are even being forced to fulfil advertising contacts even though they have nothing to advertise.
CarwiseUK have set up a petition Http://Chng.it/bbc89KVjzB to try and urge Boris Johnson to put guidelines into place for auctions to reopen. Given that pubs, cinemas and restaurants are trading, it seems odd that motor auctions remain closed to the detriment of car dealerships and to the motoring public, most of whom cannot afford brand new cars and rely on the used car market to keep themselves and their families on the road.