One of the benefits of renting a van is that in most cases, you can be sure that the vehicle will be under two years old. Obviously this means that rental companies have a near-constant need to acquire new vehicles and dispose of old ones.
Rental companies are often among car and van manufacturers’ biggest customers. They will often agree deals to take a certain number of each type of vehicle each year in return for heavily-discounted pricing.
This helps the manufacturer to guarantee a certain level of production demand — essential for efficient planning.
What happens when the vans must be sold?
Whereas small companies might part-exchange their old vans when buying new models, this approach isn’t viable for big rental companies. They tend to buy direct from vehicle manufacturers and may take delivery of tens or even hundreds of new cars or vans at a time.
Remarketing — or selling — the old vans has become a major business in its own right. Vehicle auction group Manheim and BCA are the market leaders in the UK. Both companies operate on an impressive scale.
For example, BCA’s Blackbushe centre offered nearly 700 vans for sale in one day on 2 February 2017. These came from a mixture of fleet, lease, rental, local authority and dealer groups. A total 540 vans were sold on the day, setting a new one-day record for the firm.
And that’s just from one auction centre on one day. BCA has 24 auction centres in the UK and sells more than one million vehicles every year. According to BCA’s LCV Operations Director, Duncan Ward, the group is seeing high levels of van sales across its network:
“This is a significant result that underlines that BCA generates the buying power to remarket huge numbers of vehicles, swiftly and efficiently. It also reflects activity elsewhere within BCA, as we have seen rising volumes around the group, notably at our multi-lane specialist LCV remarketing centres in Measham and Belle Vue Manchester.”
So now you know. To buy and sell thousands of vehicles every year, rental companies depend on careful planning and support from both manufacturers and large auction groups.