'BANK Holidays have been something of a crossroads in the commercial vehicle auction market over the past five years, marking a change in the market's performance.
The first quarter of the year has, for a number of years, been the strongest time for the marketplace. This is due to a number of reasons, but primarily because buyers are keen to purchase their vehicles before the end of the financial year and the lack of stock created by the quiet Christmas period heightens buyer demand. The picture in the auction halls tends to change quickly once we approach Easter. With four bank holidays, all in close succession during April and May, the depreciation curve starts to kick in.
Easter and the May bank holidays affect the market in several ways. Our core base of buyers, the self-employed and small businesses, are tempted away from their work, often taking days off either side of a bank holiday weekend. Visiting an auction is not high on their list of priorities. In addition, forecourts tend to empty because main retail buyers stop refreshing their stock around the holiday period.
One-off bank holidays don't tend to affect the market greatly but at this time of the year, with three in close succession, the effect is often felt, primarily because a large proportion of the commercial vehicle auction market is driven by the self employed and bank holidays mean no money as they will not be getting paid. This in turn has its effect on the auction market as the small businesses and the self employed have limited spare cash to buy vehicles.
Overall, bank holidays simply create 'blips' that are often taken out of context. People begin to down talk the market, forecasts dip and a mild panic sets in – however, every year that passes soon shows that as we move away from May and into June the market slowly goes back to normal. My advice to sellers is hold your nerve and de-fleet vehicles sensibly and you'll be able to enjoy the bank holidays.
Sample prices achieved
99V Vauxhall Movano 3.5T LWB Luton 35000 miles £6,075
96N Ford Transit 190 lwb Luton 15000 miles £5,250
0252 Ford Transit 260 swb h/r 2.0TD 75PS 400 miles £7,950
02 5' Ford Transit 280 lwb h/r 2.4TD 90PS 10,000 miles £7,650
0252 Ford Transit lwb h/r 2.4TD 90PS 14,000 miles £7,500
0151 Vauxhall Astravan 1.7TDI Sportive 48,000 miles £6,150