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Contactless valuations: How live video can help

In this blog, we’ll take a look of the current state of play, and explore how live video can help you make the most of the emerging post-pandemic boom.


As the coronavirus lockdown gradually eases in the UK, the automotive industry is enjoying a sales surge – as pent-up demand starts to translate into enquiries. However, this interest is manifesting itself in perhaps unexpected ways, posing a new set of challenges for dealers, especially around part-exchange and subsequent valuations.

The (used) car is the star

It’s been a difficult few months for everyone in the automotive industry, but all the signs are pointing towards a brighter future on the horizon. Research conducted by Auto Trader has found that retailers using its platform received 96% more leads in June than they did in the same month last year. A big part of this growth is down to people who are currently car-less wanting to avoid public transport and get themselves their own personal means of getting around: 56% of licence holders without a car at present are considering buying one.

However, rather than opting for brand-new models, buyers are instead turning to the used market. There are a number of reasons for this: car factory shutdowns affecting waiting times for new cars, consumer caution around big spending in economic uncertainty, and the fact that those switching from public transport will naturally be coming in at the cheaper end of the market.

As a result, many retailers are looking to incentivise the purchase of a new car through part exchange – filling their forecourt with quality used cars (which are more attractive to today’s buyer), while helping them to increase their new vehicle orders.

What this all means though, is a big increase in the number of valuations that dealers are having to carry out, at a time when actually carrying out a valuation is most difficult. The sudden and fast-moving rise in used car prices, is making valuations harder than ever. On top of that, the restrictions around physical contact and number of customers on site adds another obstacle.

So now, more than ever, live video has a vital role to play in facilitating a clear, fair and easy valuation process for dealers and customers alike.

The keys to unlocking the potential of live video

Live video valuations, conducted properly and professionally, have many benefits for dealers. They ensure social distancing rules aren’t breached, while helping the dealer get all the information they need to make an accurate valuation. It’s often more efficient than an on-site valuation too – leaving the sales executive time to capitalise on the surge in enquiries.

But why is it so important to get right? Here are three vital considerations to bear in mind as you implement and fine-tune your processes:

Accuracy: The condition of a used car has a big impact on it’s valuation, so making sure you have an accurate picture is critical. With live video, the dealer and seller can walk around the car in real-time, giving the dealer an opportunity to ask the seller questions, and importantly, show them the sections of the car which may impact the valuation – such as bumps, scratches and dents.

Forecourt space is precious: The demand for used cars has risen, but buyers don’t want used cars in bad condition. Using live video means dealers can choose only the best cars to fill the finite space on their forecourt.

Efficiency: With a surge of enquiries, many dealers are struggling to handle the interest and connect to as many potential customers as possible. By moving towards a live video model for valuations, you can run a more structured appointment system and reduce the flow of spontaneous visitors to the showroom, both of which will free up dealer time to handle more enquiries.

Learn more about Live Video

To help retailers successfully utilise Live Video as part of our customer engagement, we’re running a Getting Good with Live Video webinar on the 12th August at 12pm, view the details here.

We also have a series of webinars available on all our app’s to help you improve your video skills and knowledge. Find out the dates and times for the next webinars here.

We’re here to help

If you’re already a CitNOW Sales customer, Live Video is already available to you. To find out more, contact support@citnow.com or get in touch with our Customer Support team on 01189 977740 between 9am and 5:30pm (UK time), Monday to Friday.