Fleet News

BCA Market Report: Prices soar but so do expectations

Experts at Glass’s Information Services say the continuing strong performance of the market could be undermined if more vendors seek to achieve unsustainably high prices for their stock.

George Alexander, chief editor of commercial vehicles at Glass’s, warned: ‘When times are this good, vendors can become too ambitious when it comes to setting reserves for their de-fleeted vehicles.

‘Problems will arise if the cost of nice, late-year stock reaches the point when, after reconditioning costs and a sensible margin for profit is added in, dealers would need to retail these vehicles at figures close to the discounted cost of a new example.

We are not quite at that point, but the more switched-on trade buyers are commenting on just how expensive used stock has become of late.’

Looking at selling trends, Alexander said the car-derived van market was slowing down, but was still welcoming the best offerings from Ford and Vauxhall, while a shortage of Citroen Berlingos and Peugeot Partners ensured prices remained firm. The Ford Transit Connect and Volkswagen Caddy were doing well, owing to low volumes appearing.

On the panel van market, impressive prices are being made for the Citroen Dispatch, Fiat Scudo and Peugeot Expert, while Vauxhall and Renault vans are selling first time. Strong money is being made on high horsepower, maximum capacity vans and especially high cube offerings from Ford, Fiat and Iveco are doing well.

Meanwhile a cloud is still hanging over gas powered vehicles despite the recent fuel price rises, according to CAP.

A spokesman said: ‘Compressed and liquefied natural gas trucks remain a relative rarity but they have been changing hands of late with mixed results. These are matched by mixed feelings about the future success or otherwise of such vehicles.

‘Even with a substantial up-front premium there is a case to be made for vehicles which offer fuel cost savings of around £100 per thousand miles.

‘This is helped by the potential of recovering a proportion of the initial extra outlay through the Government’s PowerShift grant scheme. Supermarkets are already running LNG trucks, as are some local authorities and, ironically, fuel distributors. But while there is some support in the new market, it remains to be seen what kind of future such vehicles have as used trucks.’

The spokesman added: ‘We have sought the views of operators, disposers and potential buyers, with mixed opinions in abundance. Recent hire vehicle disposals have brought disappointment to the vendors, with vehicles failing to achieve significantly more than equivalent diesel trucks in open sale.

‘However, this may partly be attributable to these having been municipal trucks, which are often less desirable on grounds of condition and refurbishment costs.’

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