The big story

Codes of prac­tice needed?

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - THIS WEEK -

Clas­sic car auc­tion­eers need to adopt a code of con­duct to demon­strate to buy­ers and sell­ers that their busi­ness is trust­wor­thy, ACA’s Rob Ge­orge says.

He be­lieves that some auc­tion­eers’ prac­tices can dam­age the rep­u­ta­tion of oth­ers: ‘It’s the de­ceit I don’t like. For ex­am­ple, low es­ti­mates and high re­serves should be banned. If you’ve driven 150 miles to see a car with a £10,000 up­per es­ti­mate and it’s not sold at £13,000 you’d be right to feel ag­grieved. What’s worse are the low, come-and-buy-me es­ti­mates, be­cause they make auc­tion­eers look stupid.’

Rob also says that be­cause auc­tions are in the spot­light they need to show high lev­els of pro­fes­sion­al­ism: ‘It’s fash­ion­able to buy and sell at auc­tions and they are the barom­e­ter of the mar­ket – if one went bust it would af­fect the whole in­dus­try. How­ever, be­cause of the in­ter­net any­one can make them­selves look re­spectable.’

DVCA’s Brian Chant be­lieves a code of con­duct would be good for the in­dus­try, but start­ing it, polic­ing it and vet­ting new mem­bers could be time-con­sum­ing. ‘Some­one will have to es­tab­lish the rules and reg­u­la­tions and the cri­te­ria for join­ing, other­wise any busi­ness will be able to join and the scheme wouldn’t get any­where,’ Chant says. ‘Not a lot is needed to start a clas­sic auc­tion­eer, and you’ve got to ask what the code would do if a mem­ber broke the rules. It could be dif­fi­cult to set up but in prin­ci­ple it’s good.’

Peter Wil­liams of HVA says a code of con­duct would in­spire con­fi­dence among both buy­ers and sell­ers: ‘It would def­i­nitely work across the in­dus­try, but it needs to be ad­min­is­tered prop­erly – per­haps by the Fed­er­a­tion of Bri­tish His­toric Ve­hi­cle Clubs?’ he sug­gests.

South Western Ve­hi­cles Auc­tions (SWVA) di­rec­tor Chris Holmes also be­lieves a code of con­duct would be

ben­e­fi­cial for the in­dus­try. ‘ While we aren’t mem­bers of the So­ci­ety of Mo­tor Auc­tions, we do op­er­ate to its code, and one for clas­sic sales would help in­spire more con­fi­dence among buy­ers and sell­ers alike,’ he says.

How such a code of con­duct could work re­mains open to de­bate, but Rob Ge­orge, Brian Chant and HVA’s Peter Wil­liams think run­ning it in con­junc­tion with the Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Mo­tor Auc­tions’ um­brella, the So­ci­ety of Fine Art Auc­tion­eers or the Fed­er­a­tion of Bri­tish His­toric Ve­hi­cle Clubs would in­spire con­fi­dence.

Adopt­ing an auc­tion code would be good for the in­dus­try, say many lead­ing names.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.