High demand from retailers for showroom condition stock is creating a new “grade one plus” standard.
Meridian Vehicle Solutions said that vehicles that fall into this unofficial category are generally less than a year old and are effectively in as-new condition with almost no cosmetic faults.
Phil Jerome, Managing Director, said: “The NAMA grade one standard allows for a few minor issues such as small dents and minor missing trim items but we are in a situation where demand for used cars that can be immediately retailed is so high that there is a further level emerging above this.
“These are cars that can be placed on a dealer’s web site and offered for sale immediately because they require almost no preparation. Of course, they also command the highest prices – often in excess of the highest level shown by industry pricing guides.”
Because of its medium term rental model, most vehicles remarketed by Meridian fell into this category, being sold at less than a year old.
Jerome added: “We are in quite an unusual position because almost all of our disposals cover prestige or semi-prestige brands at the nearly-new end of the market, so we are seeing this trend emerge at first hand.
“All our cars are inspected on return and include a complete history including a schedule of any work carried out, so dealers know exactly what they are getting.
“Certainly, demand for vehicles of this kind is very high and we are not seeing any slippage in values as we head into 2019. In fact, while new car order times remain on the high side, we do not envisage any change in the market.”
Dealers buying this kind of vehicle often operate on a business model of turning around stock much more quickly than other used car retailers, something made possible by the minimum of preparation required.