Fleet News

‘Rumours from the Rostrum’ - October 2011

“It’s not all doom and gloom but we do have to put things into perspective and not get carried away with the prices being made at present. It has been a very up and down month stock wise. The sales vary in size massively on a week to week basis. Many vendors are never sure what they will have available and this yo-yo effect has obviously woken the buyers up to the fact that what we have been saying for months is finally happening and there is going to be a shortage.

The auctions halls have been packed with buyers all month. However when you speak to them they are buying for different reasons and this obviously varies regionally. Those nearer London are reporting a brisk trade on their forecourts and are at auction to replace stock. Moving further afield we hear different reasons. Some of the larger retail sites are reporting average sales but are concerned that the stock is drying up at auction and will do so for quite a while so they feel they should buy now rather than miss out. There are also some traders who are seeing little or no activity at present in the more rural areas and are just looking for the odd one or two vans. So it is something of a mixed bag out there at present.

The best sellers around are obviously still the late plate/low mileage, the odd ball and the well specified vans and buyers will bid large amounts for these but that has always been the case. What we really need to look at is the run of the mill vans that in the past were 3 years old with 60/70k miles and are now coming to auctions at 4/5 years old with more than 90k miles. These are performing well at present but as mentioned last month some traders are reporting that private buyers are questioning why they are having to pay more this year for an older and higher mileage van.

Manheim Remarketing’s Market Analysis reports that vans are making on average £111 less year on year. However the mileage has gone up by an average of 9k and the age by an average of 7 months. This points to the fact that prices just cannot keep climbing no matter how short of stock the market is. The commercial vehicle market has always tracked alongside the economy of the country and if the money is not out there it will have a knock on effect.”

Tim Spencer, Group Commercial Vehicle Auctioneer, Manheim Auctions

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