Fleet News

Disposals: The right stock is moving, but tatty stuff stays

ALEX Wright, Manheim Auction Group’s commercial vehicle director, looks at the current market trends.

The key phrase for this month is ‘the right stock.’ Tatty, high mileage vans are simply not selling – and perhaps more importantly catalogues filled with unappealing vans will not entice buyers to travel to the auction halls, let alone purchase. The only sector where this is not true is tippers.

The outlook for the coming months is an influx of stock. Due to the launch of so many new models in 2006, the end of the year could be the most congested market-place seen for a long time.

Car-derived vans are in even shorter supply this month. There is so little to choose from but still bids are reflecting reasonable mileage and condition, showing just how important these factors are to buyers. Ford Escorts and Vauxhall Astravans are both popular buys and low mileage examples in both models are rare finds at present.

Higher mileage vans are less in demand, but their lower prices make a good buy. More Vauxhall Combos with side loading doors are now available, making this the best performer of late. While the addition of a side loading door doesn’t actually add value, it does add interest thanks to its functionality and convenience. The 1.3CDTI engine is also proving to be a popular purchase.

The 4x4 sector is enjoying a healthy period and as a general rule of thumb, the better the specification of the vehicle – leather, alloys, air conditioning, metallic paint – the more interest is being shown. A Ford Ranger 4x4 XLT Thunder double-cab with 50,000 miles on the clock recently sold for £8,350.

Condition, mileage and specification are all impacting on what is selling in the small panel van sector.

With many Vauxhall Vivaros and Renault Trafics available to choose from, buyers are inspecting them meticulously prior to bidding. Six-speed vans seem to be the most popular choice.

The Mercedes Vito and Volkswagen Transporter remain the stars of this sector with old-shape Transporters very much still in demand. A recent sale in Gloucester saw an 02/02 Transporter 2.5TDI SWB with 12,000 miles on the clock sell for £5,575.

Higher mileage vehicles in the large panel van sector are offering some bargains for buyers, while lower mileage examples are being snapped up at their first showing.

All in all a very positive outlook for the light commercial vehicle sector.

There are few bargains to be had for buyers but there are certainly some impressive vehicles coming into the halls thanks to vendors’ realisation that condition is paramount to selling first time.

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