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The most important purchase sources for automobiles: advantages and disadvantages (part 2)

Businesses dealing in motor vehicles have to constantly acquire new used cars and renew their selection. The vehicles come from private individuals and companies with different orientations. In the first part, we named private sellers, other car dealerships and leasing companies as sources. In the second part, three further acquisition sources are presented.

Import companies

Many trading companies also buy used vehicles from importing companies. In general, the advantages and disadvantages of buying from other retailers apply here. The difference here, however, is that imported vehicles can often be offered at a slightly lower price than vehicles that the dealership has procured on the German market. On the other hand, the selection of vehicles is usually a little smaller, since the procurement is more complex and therefore mostly only models and model variants are bought from the import company, which promise particularly high profit margins.


The used vehicles purchased from car manufacturers are mostly former company and annual cars as well as lease returns from the stock of the manufacturer's sales network. As with leasing companies, the vehicles are therefore mostly recent and their condition is well documented.

Here, too, the range of models and model variants is rather small, although there is also the restriction to one brand. This source is therefore less suitable for trading companies that want to buy vehicles from different brands in one go and with as little effort as possible.

Car rental companies and other fleet operators

After all, car rental companies and other fleet operators who sell returns from their own fleet represent the last important source for buying used cars. Through direct sales without additional dealer margins, service provider costs and commissions, dealerships can usually acquire the vehicles at good to very good prices. With regard to the selection of models and the vehicle condition and its documentation, however, no general statements can be made.

If the selling company is a company that is selling its former company vehicles, or a smaller, local or specialized rental car provider, the range of models on offer is usually very limited. How reliably and well defects are documented must also be clarified in advance in each individual case.

Retailers are always on the safe side with Europcar, Europe's largest car rental company. With its two rental vehicle brands Buchbinder and Europcar, the company has a huge range of vehicle types, brands and models and sells returns from its rental vehicle fleet via special remarketing channels, the "Buchbinder Sale" and "Europcar 2nd Move" portals. The offer on both portals ranges from cars to light commercial vehicles, from young used vehicles to long-distance vehicles, from slightly damaged vehicles to vehicles that have been involved in an accident.

For this purpose, all returns are examined by an independent expert organization before they are sold and all defects are documented. Those interested in buying can then view all the information about the vehicles on offer online, as well as detailed, informative photos.

Another advantage of Europcar is that the Europcar and Buchbinder vehicles can be sold in four different ways, so that interested parties can choose the form of sale that suits them best:

In addition to the classic online car auction with a fixed end to the bidding round and an option to buy it now, there are online real-time auctions in live stream with the additional thrill of an auctioneer with a hammer. In addition, if the pandemic allows it again, the vehicles will be sold in a real-time auction on site, including free food and accommodation and a free supporting program. And last but not least, there is the option of direct purchase with the possibility of purchasing several used vehicles in a package.

Also read the first part of the article on the most important purchase channels and what car dealers should pay attention to.

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