IF you listened to the market gossip, you’d be forgiven for thinking that there’s no point in trying to dispose of vans at present. It’s true that conditions are tougher than the buoyant times we enjoyed a year ago, but take a realistic view of the market and you’ll see that it’s not bad at all.
I believe we have simply returned to a state of normality after a period of high activity. In fact, Manheim is currently selling the same number of units as last year and LCVs are continuing to remain strong on the used market. People have become complacent over the last two years, so as we return to a steadier, more realistic market, human nature being what it is, they begin to talk it down.
The truth is that vehicles in good condition, that are anything between 18 months and four years old and under 70,000 miles, are marketing at very good prices.
Where we are seeing a downturn in prices is among the large number of high mileage vehicles that previously benefited from the boom times and achieved prices that were way above their realistic value. In today’s market they’re still selling, but for much closer to their true worth.
Vans are seen as work tools and are expected to have high mileages. However, if a vehicle has been utilised to the maximum and has come to the end of its life, its value will naturally be affected and today’s market is far more realistic than we’ve enjoyed in the past year. Some models will always sell well. In the car-derived van market, Astra vans are making strong money, particularly when compared to the Astra car. We are now seeing the first Ford Transit Connects come to market and they are doing very well indeed at auction, as is the Citroen Berlingo 2.0 HDi and the larger-engined Renault Kangoos.
Among the smaller panel vans the Renault Trafic and Vauxhall Vivaro are no longer in their honeymoon period, but they are still making very good money.
We are now seeing a high number of larger panel vans that have been used for home delivery emerging on to the market. The nature of the work adversely affects the price, because of the high mileage and wear and tear, so Sprinter, Transit LWB High Top and Renault Master are achieving weaker prices at auction as a result. These shouldn’t be confused with good condition vehicles that haven’t been used for multi-drops, whose value remains strong.