Fleet News

Disposals: Double-cabs blast on despite tax threats

JUST a year ago, Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown announced swingeing new benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax rules aimed at cutting down on the number of company car drivers who chose double-cab pick-ups as a way of getting round paying a huge chunk of tax.

As from April 2007, drivers who are 22% taxpayers will have to cough up £660 a year for the privilege of driving a double-cab, as opposed to £110 at present.

At the time many pundits predicted the end of the road of these glorious beasts – but according to research by used value specialist CAP, the market is set to be as buoyant as ever.

A CAP spokesman said: ‘In the regular Red Book monthly survey of a regionally-weighted sample of used light commercial vehicle retailers, those who deal in double-cabs were questioned about their experience over the past 12 months. The result is encouraging for the used double-cab market. While some reported reduced demand for new examples, an overwhelming majority were enjoying stable or enhanced demand for used double-cabs. The figures break down to 58% perceiving no change, since abolition of the tax break. But 42% report continued growth in used sales. This bodes well for the sector and confirms the used double-cab as a reliable ongoing profit opportunity.’

Over at Glass’s Guide, experts are seeing good values for used Nissan products.

A spokesman said: ‘The open market has seen little of Nissan’s Kubistar, Primastar and Interstar to the extent that trade buyers will currently pay a small premium to take ownership of those rare examples on offer. Any examples of the Vanette presented in good condition will also attract buyers and, although it is powered by outdated engine technology, is well liked by end users when offered with low warranted miles.’

Meanwhile, significant cashback deals on Citroen commercials are starting to take a toll on their late used market values.

The spokesman said: ‘At two and three years old, Berlingo and Dispatch models become less affected and perform well enough. However, notable weakness emanating from the used panel van market for older, more traditional looking one-tonne vans is seeing Relays suffer and prices flag. Best news comes from the 3.5-tonne market where high horsepower is the driving force. For

Relay there are two distinct markets, later revised shape HDi models that perform admirably, and another lower price bracket for conventional diesel vans.’

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