Fleet News

Disposals: Residual value warning as white gives way to silver

For while silver cars are making extra money at auction, it is by no means so clear cut in the world of light commercial vehicles.

Alex Wright, commercial vehicle sales director Manheim Auctions, said: ‘Over the past five years, silver has become the colour for cars and the LCV market has been quick to follow the trend, but Manheim’s Market Market Prices report for the third quarter of 2004 revealed buyers could have too much of a good thing.

The report said: ‘Unlike the car market, where silver ages gracefully and has a positive effect on residuals, as commercial vehicles notch up the years silver paintwork can be a hindrance rather than a help at disposal time.

‘Our analysis shows that for car-derived vans under two years old, silver can add as much as £200 to the resale price. However, over that age the reverse can happen. As vehicles become more damaged, the cost implications for repairing silver paintwork hit home – and residual values.

‘White van man doesn’t have to be too handy with the touch-up paint to keep his vehicle looking fairly pristine, but, unless he’s a skilled painter in his spare time, silver van man has the choice of ending up with zebra stripes or a hefty bill.

‘The impact of colour is greater on panel vans because there’s more bodywork to damage. Consequently tatty four to five-year-old vehicles in silver take a price hit.

‘And silver is the worst possible colour for vehicles to suffer even higher wear and tear, such as tippers. Here good old council white or yellow, or even solid light green, are the safest bet for long-term value holding.

‘However, for small executive buses such as the Transit Tourneo and the VW Caravelle, a metallic finish can add up to £500 in value when a vehicle goes under the hammer.’

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