A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Copart's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Copart is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

Nigel Paget, CEO Europe, Middle
East & Africa
Copart carry out 53 key steps to
maximise a vehicle’s value at auction
Copart was founded in California in 1982, listed on
NASDAQ in 1994 and became a S&P 500 company in
2018. It has invested around £250 million in the UK since
2007 with the aim of becoming the leading British provider of
specialist vehicle remarketing services to the motor insurance
and automotive industries. The company’s whole approach is
based on collaboration, aligned commercial goals and win-win
partnerships. Nigel Paget, CEO for Europe, Middle East and
Africa, explains Copart’s unique relationship with the UK market.
Our first two years in the UK saw us acquire a handful of businesses from our
headquarters near Bedford. Twelve years on, we have almost 1,000 employees, 15
locations across Britain and over 200 vehicle transporters. In 2018, we handled over
370,000 vehicles for over 80 customers, including 21 of the top 25 motor insurers.
The Copart process
Following a motor accident, an insurer has to decide whether to repair a vehicle
or not. Some vehicles are beyond repair, but a majority simply cannot be repaired
economically by them while still remaining eminently repairable. In the latter case,
the insured is paid the vehicle’s full value, and the insurer then seeks the best value
for that vehicle from specialist buyers. That’s where we come in.
Having sold over three million vehicles in the UK since 2007, we know what
buyers want and need. We track preferences and interests to enable specialised
»CEO for EMEA: Nigel Paget
»Established in California in
1982, and in the UK in 2007
»Based in Wootton,
Bedfordshire, with 15
locations across the UK
including Northern Ireland
»Services: Vehicle remarketing
»No. of employees: 981 in the
»In 2019, Copart will sell
around 400,000 vehicles
online to 100 million web
visitors from 108 countries
Highlighting best practice
marketing – both in terms of what
the buyer is looking for and what’s
necessary for each vehicle. Our
website has had over half a billion
unique visitors since 2013, and almost
100 million searches for a vehicle are
made on there each year. Eighty-nine
per cent of UK vehicle buyers use
our app daily and visit our website
or app 23 times a week on average.
The better we market the vehicle,
the more active our buyers are, the
slicker the buying process is and the
higher the value of each vehicle for
We strive to provide the most
competitive marketplace for accident-
damaged vehicles by accessing
the widest market of potential
buyers. Each of them is vetted and
appropriately licensed to handle what
they’re being sold, thus enabling
maximum value for the insurer.
Patented auction technology recreates
traditional auctions online 750 times
a year in the UK – each of which
has over 2,500 attendees and 1,300
vehicles for sale. For sellers bringing
vehicles to market quickly, accurate
and authentic presentation alongside
specialised and tailored marketing is
essential. We make the bidding and
buying process as efficient as possible
for everyone.
Each of these auctions replicates the
excitement and energy of a live auction
house by putting the right vehicles
in front of the right people. They
maximise convenience by making use
of world-class web and app technology
to ensure that maximum prices are bid.
Partnership, satisfaction and
Underpinning every step of this process
is one key attribute: partnership.
Our collaboration with our B2B
sellers benefits everyone hugely. Our
commercial arrangements incentivise
us to do the best for our clients in
every case, and co-operation and
collaboration are thus integral to our
model. They allow us to achieve the
full market value for each vehicle but
also crucially help our customers to
improve their internal processes.
Real-time performance and
benchmarking facilitate this, as
does sharing best practice while
protecting proprietary knowledge.
Most customers have outsourced
business processes to us, ensuring
that vehicles get to market without
delay. For them, this makes total
sense; we are experts in our market,
and we are able to maximise value
by way of our streamlined, dedicated
end-to-end processing. By working
with us, they can make the decision to
repair or not either simpler and, often,
We also ensure that many accident-
damaged vehicles are reused and
recycled sustainably, and that the
rest are disposed of in a responsible
manner; 95 per cent of the composite
materials of vehicles beyond repair are
consequently recycled.
Understanding our buyers
Marketing and technology are two
cornerstones of what we do. Our
strategy for the former drives the
Copart own and operate
200 vehicle transporters
across the UK
every step of
this process is
one key
latter; the technology that underpins
our auction system provides us
with detailed data intelligence and
analytics about each of our buyers. We
recognise who our buyers are across
the 108 countries we trade with and
how we can reach more of them,
while also deeply understanding their
bidding behaviours and profiles.
We tailor what they see – every
buyer, for instance, interested in a
certain make and model will see it
before the actual auction, allowing
us to match up appropriate assets to
potential buyers. Ninety-six per cent of
all vehicles are viewed by a potential
buyer within one hour of being
uploaded to the web, up to ten days
before being actually auctioned.
Alongside this contextual, user-driven
marketing, we utilise social media
heavily to create broader relationships.
Particularly interesting higher-end
vehicles, Lamborghinis, Ferraris or
classics for example, prompt specialised
marketing campaigns.
Ever-changing legislative
environment and
The scope of our business subjects
us to a vast amount of legislation,
including environmental compliance,
business and employment regulation,
transport legislation and, of course,
international trade. Each of these
areas seemingly gets more saturated
year on year, with ever-increasing
The uncertainty of Brexit is difficult,
too. Inconsistent approaches to
managing vehicle movements across
Europe and even the application of
existing and new legislation affect
us. Domestic inconsistency is a real
problem, too – statutory bodies and
government agencies in the UK do not
always take a common approach. It
simply isn’t productive.
Greater value in everything
we do
We partner with our customers in
every endeavour and forever will.
Equally important is continuing to
align our commercial goals with our
customers. Our business model is
second to none when it comes to
driving value, and we have fantastic
people who love working in the
business. Our colleague satisfaction
survey results are truly world class.
We are wholly dedicated to our
business model, our employees and
partnership, and are totally confident
that these will continue to underpin
everything we do. This is perhaps
not something you’d expect from a
company handling accident-damaged
We want to see more of the same,
bringing increasing value to our
customers through more innovation.
There are still areas of the automotive
economy that we haven’t reached
yet – we want to look further beyond
our core market of motor insurance.
Development and growth aside,
however, we just want to continue
doing what we’ve done so successfully
for decades: taking somebody’s asset
and finding the person who wants it
the most.
We partner
with our
customers in
endeavour and
forever will
14 separate services
for vehicle sellers are
outsourced to Copart

This article was sponsored by Copart. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng.

Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng

This year’s Parliamentary Review reflects on a tumultuous and extraordinary year, globally and nationally. As well as being an MP, I am a keen student of history, and I am conscious that 2020 would mark the end of an era. It will be remembered as the year in which we concluded Brexit negotiations and finally left the European Union. Above all, it will be remembered as the year of Covid-19.

In our fight against the pandemic, I am delighted that our vaccination programme is beginning to turn the tide – and I pay tribute to the British businesses, scientists and all those who have helped us to achieve this. But the virus has dealt enormous damage, and we now have a duty to rebuild our economy.

We must ensure that businesses are protected. We have made more than £350 billion available to that end, with grants, business rates relief and our furlough scheme supporting more than 11 million people and jobs in every corner of the country, maintaining livelihoods while easing the pressure on employers. The next step is to work with business to build back better and greener, putting the net zero carbon challenge at the heart of our recovery. This is a complex undertaking, but one which I hope will be recognised as a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Through the prime minister’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, we can level up every region of the UK, supporting 250,000 green jobs while we accelerate our progress towards net zero carbon emissions.

With our commitment to raise R&D spending to 2.4% of GDP and the creation of the Advanced Research & Invention Agency, we are empowering our fantastic researchers to take on groundbreaking research, delivering funding with flexibility and speed. With this approach, innovators will be able to work with our traditional industrial heartlands to explore new technologies, and design and manufacture the products on which the future will be built – ready for export around the globe.

And I believe trade will flourish. We are a leading nation in the fight against climate change. As the host of COP26 this year, we have an incredible opportunity to market our low-carbon products and expertise. Our departure from the EU gives us the chance to be a champion of truly global free trade; we have already signed trade deals with more than 60 countries around the world.

As we turn the page and leave 2020 behind, I am excited about the new chapter which Britain is now writing for itself, and for the opportunities which lie ahead of us.
Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy