LONDON – BCA has extended its successful Internet-based selling platform LiveOnline to the wider light commercial vehicle (LCV) market in the United Kingdom. For the first time, commercial vehicles from the fleet, contract hire, and lease sector have been sold using this state of the art technology. Sales are initially taking place every two weeks at BCA Blackbushe — Europe’s largest weekly LCV sale — before rolling out to other locations in the BCA network.

Within the regular entry of almost 400 vehicles, the first LCV LiveOnline sale on Oct. 3 included 134 vehicles from BT Fleet, LeasePlan, and Peugeot Motor Company. A total of 73 dealers logged on for the sale from locations ranging from Cornwall to Inverness, with as many as 30 online at any one time.

The online buyers bid on over 30 percent of the total entry and accounted for 13 percent of the units sold. This incremental buying power generated just under £5,000 of additional bidding value during the sale.

LiveOnline is BCA’s exclusive service that allows Internet bidders to compete against buyers in the auction hall. Bidding status is displayed to online bidders via their PC, while hall buyers can see displays on large plasma screens. Net buyers see live images of the vehicle on sale and hear the auctioneer conducting the bidding and bid in real time against the auction hall. Only approved BCA buyers are eligible to participate through a log-on protocol, ruling out the potential of frivolous bidding from unknown customers.

BCA has also dealt with the issue of buyer confidence in remote bidding over the Internet. While the company has previously sold low-mileage commercials direct from manufacturers using LiveOnline, the product profile of used commercials from lease and contract hire sources is typically 30 months and 60,000 miles, meaning condition is critical.

To address this, BCA has introduced a strict grading system, which dovetails with the lease-end inspection process. The BCA grading is based on the cost to refurbish the vehicle to lease-end standard where Grade 1 is £0 and Grade 6 is £1,000 plus. This means online buyers have all the information they need to properly assess each vehicle and bid with confidence.