Fleet News

BCA MARKET REPORT: Sales strong but the condition must be good

This year has seen exceptional growth and demand in the light commercial market, with both the new and used markets reporting strong volumes.

While new sales volumes remain buoyant, there has been a note of caution from the SMMT that the latter end of the year could see volumes levelling off if the current status quo of high employment and low interest rates is disturbed.

In the used market, demand eased slightly in the second quarter, while the holiday months were busier than in previous years.

Combined with this, there is a lot of stock about and while nice vans are making good money, there is a shortage of the ‘Real Beauties’ at auction.

What everyone wants is a clean, retail-quality van and these have been in relatively short supply, meaning prices have been very strong. In particular, the end-user wants a well-presented vehicle that is ready to go to work the next day.

Small businesses have been very much the driving force behind the renaissance in van sales and despite rumblings from some sectors about business confidence, while economic conditions remain relatively benign, it is likely that the demand will continue.

With this in mind, there are a number of issues that van sellers should be aware of. Documentation is vital, as buyers are wary of vans with ‘no docs’.

To the professional buyer, the ‘no documentation’ issue is seen as a hindrance to getting the vehicle on retail sale. The end user can be put off from bidding completely as it can raise doubts about the vehicle’s condition or history.

In essence, there is no excuse for a seller to send a vehicle for remarketing without the necessary documentation and that means V5, service history and MOT if applicable.

Condition is always important and even more so when buyers are faced with a wide selection of stock to choose from. It really is worth investing in pre-sale preparation to get vans looking their best at remarketing time.

The market is very receptive to clean examples of the smaller panel vans and these desirable models are making good money.

There are plenty of car-sized vans in the market place, with the cleanest examples attracting lots of attention. Larger panel vans again need to be in good condition and perhaps have something a little different in the spec to get the buyers interest.

LCV Stock overview:

  • Hatchbacks – short supply in the market, desirable
  • Car-sized vans – abundance in the marketplace
  • Small panel vans – Fiat Scudo, Citroen Dispatch and Peugeot Expert still extremely desirable. Turbo derivatives favoured
  • Short wheelbase panel vans – demand is strong for old shape SWB Ford Transit with reasonable mileage in good condition
  • MWB/LWB van – brand is important as is power
  • LWB/hi-roof – shortage of stock in a nice condition with low mileage
  • New Ford Transit – 3 to 4 years old ex-contract hire stock is much sought after. High mileage only becomes an issue when combined with poor condition.
  • New Renault Trafic – still very short on stock – desirable, prices strong
  • Ford Transit Connect - any examples in open auction making very strong money. Connects with a ‘different’ spec’ (side door, LX, aircon, unusual colour, tailgate) can make exceptional values.
  • Lutons, dropsides, tippers, - all scarce and very desirable.
  • Minibuses – price sensitive at the moment, but seasonal variations should see demand increasing
  • Pickups/double cabs – hugely popular, but must have aircon and be well specced.

    Prices from around the BCA network:

    Year=Model=Derivative=Mileage=Sold=% CAP
    99/T Ford Transit 120 SWB 65,278 £2,950 112
    99/T Renault Master SM33D 53,173 £4,000 128
    00/W Toyota Hi-Ace 2.4 GS LWB 79,229 £4,250 121
    01/Y Peugeot Boxer 270S 44,020 £4,650 134
    00/W Ford Transit 120 SWB Semi High 36,865 £5,000 139
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