Vehicle and fleet remarketing involves the controlled disposition of fleet vehicles that have reached the end of their useful life. This official definition may lead fleet manager to think remarketing can be addressed at the end of an asset’s life. However, it is much better to begin thinking about your remarketing strategy well in advance of implementation. A successful strategy will be define when an asset should be retired from your fleet and where it will go.
Remarketing vehicles is more than just dealing with an asset that is no longer in use. It can have a dramatic impact on your overall fleet budget. The true cost of the vehicle cannot be determined until it has been sold. A successful remarketing strategy will be a major influence on your vehicle life cycle costs while optimizing your fleet investment. The following vehicle remarketing recommendations are for fleet managers considering implementing a remarketing strategy.
Vehicle Remarketing Recommendations
1. Think With the End in Mind
Successful fleet managers realize that once their vehicles have been remarketed they will likely end up in the hands of retail consumers. To maximize the value and ensure you have a large buyer base, equip the vehicle with features and options that appeal to the retail consumer group. For example, if you know that sunroofs are highly desired, add one in early in the vehicle’s remarketing life cycle. Even during the acquisition stage of the remarketing process it isn’t too late to add in appealing options.
2. Love Your Car and Your Car Will Love You
This is true for fleet managers and retail consumers. It is critical to ensure proper maintenance of your fleet vehicles. Not only will proper maintenance keep future repair costs to a minimum, it will also add a great deal of resale value. Future buyers will inquire as to the vehicle’s maintenance record. If you use a fleet management card this history is easily recorded and shared. For fleet managers that don’t use a management card, it is critical to keep detailed records of dates service was performed and what was done.
3. Sell to the Driver
Some leased vehicles provide the driver the option to purchase the car towards the end of the lease. If this makes sense for your fleet, go for it. If executed correctly, this works great for both the driver and the fleet manager. Drivers who know they will be able to purchase the vehicle once it is “off-lease” tend to take better care of the vehicle. The lessee is able to sell the vehicle for more than wholesale and less than retail while saving on auction and reconditioning fees.
4. Vehicle Auctions
If selling to the driver isn’t an option, consider used vehicle auctions. Auctions are great in that they provide a high level of exposure to potential buyers. Both online and in-person auctions provide fleet managers with access to a larger, knowledgeable buyer pool around the nation.
It’s easy to forget the little details in a fast-paced world. Fleet managers who make it a point to recondition vehicles prior to remarketing them will maximize their value. Remove rust, repair dents, and give the vehicle a thorough detailing. For managers who are hesitant to shell out dollars on a vehicle that is going out the door, remember: sometimes you have to spend a small amount of money to make more. Developing a reputation as a fleet manager that only remarketing quality, reconditioned vehicles is worth the small time and money it will take to actually complete the reconditioning.
In addition to the above recommendations, it is also advisable to have the auction conduct a presale inspection. This inspection typically checks for mechanical and structural issues that will need to be disclosed to buyers. This can help you command a high price since buyers will want to know about any deficiencies prior to purchasing the vehicle. Presenting the details from the inspection will give buyers more confidence, and hopefully bring you a higher price.
If you want to maximize the lifetime value of your fleet, their are actionable steps you can take. Regardless of whether you are in the purchase period, ownership period, or actively selling the vehicle, investing a little time and money can help maximize your returns. Engaging with a fleet remarketing service provider can also help for fleet managers that don’t have the time to handle a controlled process.