Fleet News

New van prices predicted to plummet by £5,000

VAN prices are predicted to drop later this year by as much as £5,000 as the commercial vehicle market follows the car market into price harmonisation with Europe. According to George Alexander, chief editor of Glass's Guide Commercial Vehicles, panel vans are to drop in value by thousands of pounds by the turn of the millennium.

In the April issue of Glass's Guide Commercial Vehicles he says: 'There is the prospect of new car price 'transparency' throughout Europe - courtesy of the Euro. While this is happening across the water, an undignified scramble is beginning on these shores with manufacturers reducing new price lists by thousands of pounds - purely by coincidence? Perhaps not.

'New pricing for panel vans could be the next battlefield towards the autumn with anything up to £5,000 to be taken off. Having been ripped-off for too long we may now be set to see price levels for many consumer goods fall to an equitable level.'

Tim Wilcock, editor of CAP Commercial Vehicle Monitor, says the drop may not be as great as Glass's predicts, but any drop could hit the large discounts enjoyed by major van fleets. He said: 'I can't see the price drop being as extreme as £5,000 for any vehicle this year, but there could be a smaller reduction in prices and that will have an impact on the market.'

'One of the chief areas to watch is the major van fleets, which have been enjoying some big discounts from manufacturers, but I can't see that carrying on if the manufacturers reduce prices, bringing the price being paid by small operators and large operators more in line.'

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