Auction house launches approved used scheme

  • British Car Auctions aims to improve buyer confidence
  • New scheme means checks carried out on cars before sale
  • Guarantees basic functionality of the car, refunds available

Buying a used car from an auction used to be automotive equivalent of playing Russian roulette. You’d rarely have any idea of the true mechanical condition of the vehicle that you were interested in. At worst, it could be an unreliable wreck.

A new scheme launched by British Car Auctions (BCA), however, could make that a thing of the past. BCA, which claims to be the biggest seller of used cars in the UK, has revealed the details of its new product called BCA Assured.

Consisting of a 30 point mechanical check, carried out by an independent company, it’s aimed at providing peace of mind to buyers. It will also help sellers get the maximum value for their vehicle.

The Assured scheme covers the core components of the car. Brakes, suspension, tyre depths, warning lights and fluid levels are inspected, and a limited gearbox assessment is carried out. The engine is also checked, but only for odd noises that signify a more significant mechanical issue.

There are a few restrictions, however. Only cars that are under eight years old, and have covered less than 120,000 miles, are eligible. Vendors will also have to sign up in advance to have the check carried out on their vehicle.

The report will then appear in pre-sales catalogues, and a printed copy will be available with the vehicle when it is sold.

People who buy an ‘Assured’ car through auction will then have up to 48 hours, or 500 miles, to get in contact with BCA if the car turns out to have problems. BCA will then repair any report-related faults that were not noticed, while in some cases a full refund will be given.

The scheme is already in operation at BCA Blackbushe and Brighouse sites. By the end of the year, it’ll also be in action at Measham, Nottingham, Derby and Bedford. The company expects every site to be operating the scheme by the end of March 2012, with it expanding to cover light commercial vehicles and vans later in the year.

The UK Operations Director for BCA, Simon Henstock, commented “This new BCA Assured scheme will provide peace of mind for private customers and another level of product confidence for trade buyers. Sellers meanwhile have the opportunity to create an even stronger following for their brand at BCA by adopting this new scheme. 

"Improved buyer confidence means more buyer power and that will inevitably lead to more robust sales at BCA – which benefits everybody. This is yet another way BCA is improving the selling process for all our customers. With limited stock available, it is crucial we maximise the opportunities with every vehicle we sell and this new scheme is aimed at achieving just that.”

Parkers Top Tip:

For some key advice about buying a car from an auction, read our article here. Also, don't forget to check the value of a car that you might be interested in buying with a Parkers Car Valuation. It's very easy, at auction, to end up paying over the odds.