Wheels24

Online sales 'to double in 5 years'

2011-12-13 07:28

LONDON, England - Online sales of used vehicles in the UK’s B2B sector will double in the next five years according to Autorola, Europe’s largest online used sales company.

Currently, about 15% of used vehicles are sold online trade-to-trade in the UK but that will increase to nearer 30% by 2016, Autorola says, though that doesn’t mean the end of vehicle auctions. Instead, more of its stock will be sold online alongside a growing number of online used-vehicle suppliers.

PROVIDERS COMBINING

Peter Grøftehauge, Autorola’s chief executive, said: "You can see some realigning of physical auction networks but that is about reduced volumes of vehicles coming back into the market. Their business model is all about volume, which is why some of the major sites are being mothballed.

"The remaining sites, combined with the growth of online providers such as Autorola, will fuel this online growth."

He cited the main reason for Autorola’s growth as vendors and online providers combining to give buyers greater confidence to buy a vehicle unseen through improved provenance, descriptions and images.

“We have invested in securing buyer’s funds in an escrow account which protects their money until they receive their vehicle and are completely happy with it. We have provided this free service for more than 10 years.

“More recently the difficult economy has meant dealer groups, car supermarkets and independent traders have been running their businesses with fewer people, so it makes sense for a buyer to bid for vehicles through three or four online and physical channels in a single day."

In 2011, Autorola estimates, it will have transacted more than 220 000 vehicles through its online platforms across 17 European countries. In five years, the company believes, that number will rise to a half-million with the UK and eastern Europe likely to be the main growth areas.