Arval promotes ex-fleet EVs to trade buyers to boost RVs
Arval UK has organised an event to promote the benefits of electric vehicles to the used car dealers and supermarkets that buy its end-of-lease cars and vans, as the leasing giant aims to boost demand for the high volumes of battery-powered cars and vans that it will soon be remarketing.
The residual values of EVs in the UK have steadily fallen for the past nine months, with concerns in the leasing industry that prices will drop further as the supply of secondhand EVs increases.
It is now over three years since the UK Government cut the benefit in kind tax to zero for electric cars, leading to an explosion in demand from company car drivers, and the first wave of these zero emission cars will soon be reaching the end of their lease contracts.
Stuart Chamberlain, Arval UK’s Head of B2B and Remarketing Partnerships (pictured below), said: “The numbers of ex-fleet EVs that we are selling into the used car market is currently quite low – we disposed of around 1,000 in the last 12 months – but is set to grow exponentially in the next couple of years.
“The used sector is integral to the country’s EV transition and it’s important that used car dealers and their customers feel comfortable and are educated on their capabilities. What we want to do is help build confidence.”
Not only is battery technology new to used car dealers and their customers, but there are also several new brands for retailers and private drivers to consider.
Selling the majority of its end-of-lease vehicles directly to used car dealers and supermarkets, via its Arval MotorTrade platform, Chamberlain said Arval had closer relationships with trade buyers than leasing companies that rely on physical auctions, and therefore had an opportunity to inform its customers about the business opportunities of selling used EVs.
“We know that some dealers are quite advanced when it comes to their own retailing of EVs while others are approaching the subject with more caution. What we were aiming to do with this event was really show how the used EV sector is going to increase massively in size quite quickly, look at the key areas of concern for both retailers and their customers, and show the attractiveness and benefits of the vehicles available,” he said.
Test drives and buyer information
Test vehicles were available to drive at the event, with several delegates getting behind the wheel of an EV for the first time.
Demystifying the technology, showcasing the appeal of the quiet drive and instant acceleration of electric motors, and highlighting the cheaper running costs of EVs, all helped to remove some of the reservations that dealers have had about adding EVs to their forecourts.
With the used EV market in its infancy, vendors are still learning the information that the buyers of secondhand cars will require, although Chamberlain expects that sales conversations will focus on range, speed of charging and the condition of the battery.
“The market needs a standardisation of battery certification, so drivers can feel confident in how much life is left in the battery,” he said. Arval is one of a number of leasing companies working with the BVRLA, the industry association, to develop an independent standard for battery condition.
Following the success of the dealer event, Chamberlain anticipates interest from sister Arval operations as the volumes of their used EVs increase, and has confidence that the used vehicle market has the capacity to transition rapidly to the new technology.
“The used car market is very quick to change, as it showed after the financial crash of 2008, dieselgate, and Covid-19. Once EVs become normal, adoption will be very quick indeed,” he said. “It’s all about taking proactive steps to increase education and adoption of the new technology to the benefit of everyone involved in the remarketing process.”
Images: Shutterstock 1547005214 and Arval