They sometimes arrive very dented, to come out a few hours later, shiny. The mechanics of the Aramisauto reconditioning site, in Donzère in the Drôme, carry out a true artistic work by restoring, aesthetic as mechanical, nearly 400 used cars per week.

“They can be up to eight years old, or 150,000 km on the clock,” explains Rémi Pigeol, the site director. And come from France of course, but also from neighboring countries, Germany, Italy, Spain, Belgium… Half of them from individuals who sold them to one of our 31 agencies. And for the other half, sold by professionals, fleets of companies and rental companies, short or long term. “

An incessant ballet of heavy goods vehicles, day and night (the site teams work in 3 x 8), drop them off in the huge car park, opposite the 5,500 m2 building where the 120 CDIs work. Not enough to disturb the cicadas, however, whose chirping mingles with the roaring of the neighboring wind farm.

Body, interior, engine: everything has been combed through

The route is marked to the extreme. First, a quick passage through the fuel pump installed on site, for testing purposes. A first dusting at the washing station will then identify with the naked eye aesthetic defects, impacts and other bumps. The “Expertise” workshop then takes over in three stages: bodywork, road test and inspection of mechanical components (engine, steering, suspensions, etc.). The spare parts required for repairs (new or used, depending on availability) are listed. Repairs take place in the next workshop. Then direction “preparation”, where all bodywork and paint defects resulting from age and use are corrected.

A factory mechanic uses the technique of masking to refurbish a car door./LP/Olivier Arandel
A factory mechanic uses the technique of masking to refurbish a car door./LP/Olivier Arandel

“We have an extremely comprehensive color bank for this,” explains Jordan, one of the workshop managers. In his hands, a spectrometer can identify with formidable precision the slightest nuances. “What to compose, with about sixty basic concentrates, several tens of thousands of variants,” he says.

A bit of masking, this technique which consists of isolating the surface to be repainted, a front door for example, with adhesive tape, and the scratches and recalcitrant marks disappear as if by magic under the spray of the paint gun.

Finally, “Finishing” makes it possible to replace defective equipment: GPS, rearview mirror, lights, etc. A new road test is completed by a final diagnosis using a “suitcase”, these computers configured by the codes of the manufacturers, that every mechanic is obliged to have today. A final cleaning, complete this time, both inside and outside, and the photo shoot marks the end of this obstacle course. The sale on the site can be launched.

“We are largely competitive compared to sales between individuals”

Aramisauto thus has a catalog of 2,000 different models, ie 1,500 cars permanently offered for sale. Prices range from 6,000 euros for older vehicles to over 50,000 euros for some recent and top-of-the-range models. “We are largely competitive compared to sales between individuals, considers Rémi Pigeol, but with much superior guarantees. But downright cheaper than the dealers. “Like a well-known household appliance and electronic device retailer, Aramisauto promises to reimburse the difference if the buyer finds – in a given area and with equal characteristics – the same model cheaper.

What offer an interesting alternative, between the new whose prices do not cease soaring, and the sale between individuals which involves risks. Especially since Aramisauto offers a “maintenance free” guarantee of one year or 15,000 km. As well as the possibility, if the vehicle is not suitable, to return it within 15 days, if less than 1000 km have been covered. Result: the site saw the number of requests increase by 32% in June.