Aston Barclay is to start welcoming back physical buyers to some sales while continuing all auctions online.
From 12 April, it will restart physical auctions for dealer, Motability and LCV sales, although sales will also remain open to online buyers. Vehicles will not be driven through the halls at every site and sale.
Meanwhile, all ex-fleet, leasing and OEM sales will continue online, with buyers being invited to the halls to view fleet and lease stock prior to the sale. OEM stock will remain offsite.
The return to some physical auctions is being reinforced by strict social distancing rules carried out in line with government guidance, and follows feedback showing the majority (84%) of buyers and 100% of buyers support a return to physical sales. The survey by Aston Barclay also found 76% of buyers said it would influence them to buy more used cars.
However, the research also showed that not all buyers will switch to physical auctions; 21% said opening physical sales would not influence the number of used cars they bid on, while 3% said they would buy fewer cars at a physical auction. Following the move to online sales as a result of the pandemic, online buyers have freely admitted to liking the flexibility of attending multiple auctions across the country online.
Justin Lane, Aston Barclay’s chief operating officer, said: “We have been in constant discussion with our buyers and not surprisingly at the lower value end of the market and our LCV buyers requested a return to onsite pre-sale inspections and being able to bid in the auction hall.
“We are pleased to welcome all buyers back providing they adhere to the strict guidelines we have put in place on site and of course every sale will continue to be open to online buyers,” he added.