Fleet News

Disposals: Know your market to succeed at selling

With buyers getting more selective and greater volumes of poor to average stock around, now is the time to get a little more creative at remarketing time to really make an impression with buyers.

‘Lex Vehicle Leasing showed a pioneering spirit when they combined with BCA Measham to stage a ‘No Reserve’ sale featuring over 40 hard-worked, similarly specified Transit 350 LWB panel vans. Although these vans – complete with glass racking – were condition rated somewhere between poor and average, all sold for at or above market expectations. At a time when a lot of stock is vying for the buyers attention, this bold move by LVL ensured their vehicles were in the spotlight. The sale was very well attended, the bidding was brisk and every vehicle sold at higher average values than similar stock had achieved this year – that’s a result by any standards.

‘Royal Mail chose BCA to introduce the first of the new shape Combos to the market in back-to-back sales staged at Belle Vue, Manchester and Blackbushe. Top prices achieved for the Combo were £3,550 in the north and £3,500 in the south.

Interestingly, the Ford Escort (which the Combo replaced in the Royal Mail fleet) is seeing prices firm as numbers thin-out from fleet and lease sources.

‘In fact, car-sized vans generally continue to attract large numbers of buyers with Berlingo, Kangoo and Partner performing well, and exceptional demand for Doblo which is in relatively short supply. While some are saying the honeymoon is over for Connect, BCA continues to see strong demand across the range. As always, something a little different (colour, spec, configuration) will always attract the buyers and side-loading doors are very much favoured.

‘Buyers like to follow vendor brands, but they must feel confident that the stock is genuinely there to be sold. Specialist vendor representation on the rostrum sends out the right message to buyers, but only if they are prepared to step outside the ‘barriers’ of the price guides when it comes to close provisional sales, particularly on the poor condition examples. Even in the current market, some vendors are turning down bids that are only £150 away. The best operators balance the sale rather than obsess over every single vehicle – the buyers know this and follow these sales more keenly.

‘Adding to the confusion, the two main price guides are at some variance with each other. As hardened professional buyers will tell you, there’s no better guide than experience when prices are changing quickly.

‘The market is generally tougher than it has been for some time, due to the oversupply of poor condition, high mileage product that make up the large percentage of nearly every sale. When a van comes to market in pristine condition, well-maintained and with all the paperwork, it is almost irrelevant what the badge, size, configuration and specification is – buyers will swarm over it and you can be sure the bidding will see values soar past the guides.

‘Everyone wants clean vans, but we still see so many enter the remarketing chain without interior ply-lining and the consequent inside-out damage. BCA has been championing this simple, cheap and expedient method of ‘van preservation’ for years, but it seems we still have plenty of campaigning to do on this topic!

‘Remember that ‘use-ability’ for the second owner will always be of paramount importance. And for the owner/driver small business buyer, driver comfort and safety is becoming even more important – aircon, in-van entertainment, even sat-nav and all the safety features you would expect continue to rate highly.’

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