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Which Vehicles are Best Suited for Retail Consignment?

Types of Consignment Vehicles


Retail dealers are always looking for clean, low mileage vehicles that match their inventory type and will pass multi-point mechanical and safety inspections.  To expand their sources of quality vehicles, some dealers offer professional consignment services to sell private owner vehicles along side their owned-inventory if the private seller's vehicle meets certain basic criteria.

What makes a vehicle best suited for retail consignment?  Here are the four key factors most retail consignment dealers use to determine eligibility for accepting your vehicle into their inventory:

  1. Vehicle type
  2. Mileage
  3. Mechanical soundness
  4. Overall condition

Before you consider using consignment to sell your auto, RV or motorcycle, do a quick assessment of your vehicle by comparing it to the following criteria (there are exceptions and gray areas):

Vehicle Types

Most retail dealerships tend to specialize in selling one or two types of used vehicles. However, some carry a wider variety. Here are the most common types of vehicles:

  • Late-model autos
  • Classic/antique cars
  • Exotic and Luxury Performance cars
  • Vintage cars
  • Customized vehicles
  • Motorhomes, Campers, Travel trailers
  • Motorcycles
  • Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAV)
  • Commercial vehicles
  • Trailers
  • Late-model Autos, Motorcycles and RVs
    • At or below average miles - generally 12,000 to 15,000 miles per model year
    • Most dealers have a maximum mileage threshold for domestic (150,000) and import (200,000) 
  • Exotics and Luxury Performance
    • Generally, exotic super cars like Ferrari, McLaren, Lamborghini are considered high mileage at 25,000 miles
    • Luxury Performance cars like Audi, BMW, Mercedes AMG, Porsche, Jaguar and others lose more of their value starting at 80,000 to 100,000 miles due to higher frequency and cost of maintenance requirements
Mechanical Soundness
  • Good running condition
  • Must pass state safety and/or emissions tests (if applicable)
  • No check-engine or airbag lights
  • No bad tires (treads >5/32)
  • No bad brakes (good rotors and pad thickness >5mm)
  • No failing major components like suspension, steering, transmission, A/C
  • No fluid leaks - oil, steering, transmission, coolant
Overall Condition
  • Clean, Odor-free, no permanent stains
  • Minimal Wear and Tear to interior
  • No major body damage or cracked windshields
  • No broken or inoperable electronic components
  • Good maintenance history - the more service records available, the better.
  • No major accidents, frame damage or salvage title history

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