Remarketing sector hit by bottlenecks

Falling capacity in the refurbishment sector is creating bottlenecks in preparing cars and vans for sale, according to the Vehicle Remarketing Association (VRA).

The issue is being examined by the trade body’s Industry Trends Committee, which believes contributing factors include consolidation of refurbishment providers, skills shortages, parts availability and limited resources suitable for electric vehicles (EVs).

Marcus Blakemore, chair of the committee, said: “We’re hearing increasingly from VRA members about problems with refurbishment, something that has a direct impact on the speed with which vehicles can be turned around, and tying up money in assets that are simply waiting to be made ready for sale.

“This means that vehicles carrying damage or faults are becoming worth less because dealers know they are going to take longer to process, sometimes taking not just weeks but months longer than expected to reach retail sales channels.”


He continued: “The biggest single cause is that there are fewer refurbishment facilities available to the general remarketing sector, a situation exacerbated by some recent consolidations and sales of businesses. On top of that, there is undoubtedly a shortfall of skilled people, something that can only be resolved with a renewed commitment across the sector to training, and which will unavoidably take time.

“Parts shortages are also having a real impact. This is an area that has seen improvements since the pandemic but remains a problem. Vehicles are sometimes hanging around for months waiting for the parts needed to make them saleable.”

He added that the issue was especially acute when it comes to EVs, saying the industry is not yet geared up to meet the volume of EVs entering the market.