The National Association of Motor Auctions (NAMA) has launched its new and innovative LCV grading standard, which will be pioneered by Manheim Auction Services (MAS) across its auction locations and to its customers starting from 1 July 2024. 

This initiative builds on the success of the NAMA car grading standard, which has been in place since 2013 and was recognised in April 2023 with the highly coveted King’s Award for Enterprise - Innovation. Over 90% of the sector’s vehicles are now sold using the scheme, equating to over 10 million used cars sold. 

Paul Hill, NAMA spokesperson said, “The used car grading scheme is now widely accepted by the industry as the definitive standard to describe the relative condition of cars for buyers and sellers. We are incredibly proud of the positive impact it has had over the years. By providing a consistent and transparent method of evaluating vehicle condition, we have helped to foster trust and confidence throughout the car buying and selling process. 

“With the proven success of the car grading scheme, it is now time to extend these benefits to the light commercial vehicle sector. The new LCV grading standard is tailored to address these vehicles' unique usage and wear characteristics, ensuring that buyers and sellers can accurately assess condition and value. This will ultimately lead to more informed decision-making and a smoother transaction process in the LCV market.” 

In partnership with NAMA, Manheim Auction Services (MAS) will officially launch the LCV grading on 1 July 2024. Other auction businesses are expected to follow suit in due course. 

The new grading standard will follow similar principles to the NAMA car standard, with LCV units being graded against six ratings: 1-5 and U (‘ungraded’). Given the typical usage of LCVs, the NAMA grading levels for these vehicles are more tolerant compared to car gradings and will also take load areas into account. 

Manheim has been working side-by-side with NAMA ahead of the launch of NAMA LCV grading, acting as one of the project's supporting sponsors. 

Matthew Davock, Director of Commercial Vehicles at Cox Automotive, commented, “This is an industry grading standard that articulates how differently vans are used compared to cars, and one which takes vehicle condition and overall vehicle usage characteristics into account. It will provide a new level of confidence among LCV buyers and sellers. 

“Overall, the grading adds an extra layer of value. Vendors will have better visibility of return conditions and access to improved data, supporting more accurate reserve setting, improved reconditioning insight, and stronger first-time conversion rates. For our buyers, it will mean finding the vans that best match their stock profile with greater ease. 

“We are incredibly excited to be standing side by side with NAMA as we launch the LCV grading standard, and I have no doubt it will boost the confidence of buyers and sellers within the LCV sector.” 

Starting 1 July, this new grading standard will be applied to all LCV units passing through Manheim Auction Services locations. That week, more than 2,500 LCV units are expected to be up for sale at Manheim’s daily LCV in-lane sale locations at Shepshed, Bristol, Haydock, Washington, and Colchester. Additionally, a special offsite sale event is planned at Novuna Vehicle Solutions in Trowbridge, showcasing the new grading standard on all vehicles. 

More than 450 industry vendors from the OEM, fleet, rental, leasing, and finance sectors will support these sale events. This will be matched by over 4,000 dealers, both in-lane and digitally, who will attend throughout what promises to be a busy and milestone week for NAMA LCV grading standards and the industry.