Fleet News

Rumours from the Rostrum - Feb 2012

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“It has been a strange couple of months since the start of the year with many changes in the auction halls and surprisingly, noticeable regional differences.

As expected, the late plate end of the market is still the most sought after and the right van will usually make incredible money with four or five people looking to own it. The buyers who come along most weeks to auction have the same buying pattern across the country. They know what they want and where to find it. However with the right stock not there and the forecourt activity varying they are now looking to buy a wider range of vehicles and it is something of a surprise to see them bidding on a vehicle that you know they would have not even given a second glance a few months ago. It seems it is a case of change to survive and it certainly helps to keep the market moving at present.

There is still a lot of duplicated stock around at the moment in all colours including white. This is being managed well by vendors and so the prices remain level. More of a challenge for vendors is the volume of damaged vans in the market which is expected to increase as we see older vans with more miles. There will always be buyers for such vehicles but vendors’ expectations on price must be realistic.

The differences week by week and region by region are driven by the market. One week you turn up and the halls are packed with buyers looking to bid on everything and the next week they are there but the activity is very different. When questioned they all come back with the same answer. The retail side is very sporadic, one week they will be overrun with retail buyers the next week they see little or none at all.

The London based buyers still seem to be experiencing the tail end of the LEZ rush and this has kept them busy but none of them are sure how the rest of the year will pan out. Some are taking the view that they will just buy what they need and not over stock as they feel with extra bank holidays, the Queens jubilee, the Olympics and the football it could be a very unpredictable year.”

Tim Spencer, group commercial vehicle auctioneer, Manheim Auctions

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