27 July 2017 – sixth report
Price when new £26,415 Value on arrival £15,000 Value now £13,000 Mileage on arrival 8752 Mileage now 16,114 Official economy 65.7mpg Test economy 48.2mpg
It isn’t long now until our Insignia heads back to Vauxhall, after which it will be sold on through the Network Q scheme from which it was originally plucked. As it was formerly a company car, it passed through Network Q’s vast distribution and refurbishment centre in Corby – and it’ll be heading back there once again when Vauxhall come and take it away.
That being the case, I thought it’d be only fitting to go and find out what goes on there – how Vauxhall prepares its fleet and company car returnees before it releases them back into the Network Q fleet.
Tony Sozzo, Vauxhall’s National Sales Manager for Used Cars, very kindly offered to show me around. The operation is truly vast, with a capacity for no less than 6000 cars on site at any one time, and a whopping 40,000 cars passing through in a year. The purpose of the centre is to check the cars over for damage and repair any that’s found, before cleaning them, photographing them, and sending them back into the dealer network as quickly as possible.
The whole process takes around 43 days, from the moment a car arrives on the site to the moment it leaves again. During that time, it’ll be checked over by a dedicated vehicle inspector, who marks up any damage, before the car is then sent to the relevant workshop to be repaired.
Vauxhall can carry out any bodywork repair from a tiny scratch right up to repair of whole panels here, all done to a manufacturer-approved standard and using the latest products and techniques. Wheels are refurbished, dents are gently pushed out, cracked or broken light clusters are replaced. If a car is falls below a certain standard – i.e. that it’s too badly damaged – it’ll be rejected for the Network Q scheme at this point, and sold off to be repaired elsewhere.
When all the work is complete, the car heads off to be given a thorough clean and have photographs taken from every angle in one of the two dedicated on-site photo studios. Then it’s parked up while it waits to be sold to a dealer; once that happens, it can be loaded onto a transporter and shipped off to the dealer to be sold on to its new owner.
The organisation that goes into running a site this large is deeply impressive. When I ask Tony if he’s ever lost a car, he proudly replies: “Never.” Bearing in mind 150 cars arrive here every day, that’s no small feat.
Pretty soon, our Insignia will be one of those cars. Apart from a couple of very minor kerb grazes to the front wheels, it shouldn’t need much work, so should pass Network Q’s standards, and before too long, I expect it’ll be gracing a forecourt near you. So if you want to own it yourself, keep an eye out.
Price when new £26,415
Value on arrival £15,000
Value now £13,000
Mileage on arrival 8752
Mileage now 16,114
Test fuel economy 48.2mpg
Official fuel economy 65.7mpg
Emissions/yearly tax 113g/km/£160
0-62mph 10.9 seconds
Top speed 130mph
Insurance group 18
Prices based on a standard car without optional extras