Fleet News

Disposals: Commercials keep on the pace

BCA’s UK Business Development Manager - Commercial Vehicles Duncan Ward reports

A GOOD January has been followed by a strong February, which has seen demand keeping prices firm. If anything, the intensity has notched up a bit with both trade and end-users attending in large numbers and bidding strongly.

Consequently prices have moved up between 5% and 10% for well-presented stock since the turn of the year, whilst the cleanest lower mileage examples have seen rises in excess of that range.

It is not an unusual pattern for this time of year, yet it often seems to catch both buyers and sellers unaware.

Ideally, vendors should be pouring stock into this highly receptive marketplace, which in an ideal world would require the typical three year fleet or lease vehicle coming into service in January or February. Not for everyone, maybe, but for those that can take advantage the rewards are there to see.

Buyers meanwhile are competing with enthusiasm, but often seem surprised they are paying up to 10% more than they did in December! That’s the power of auction to focus demand on the marketplace.

Condition remains important as buyers are reluctant if vans are tatty or poorly presented. A number of vendors have enjoyed great success in using BCA’s Smart Prepared services to get their commercials in the best possible condition.

It used to be the case that a company van was lucky to see a mop and bucket at remarketing time – now sellers are prepared to invest in machine operated polishes and Smart Repairs to help their vehicles achieve the optimum price.

Even in a strong market there are hotspots and demand for Escort vans is getting stronger. We have seen many examples make hundreds of pounds over guide prices, but taken in context of what you might pay for a year-younger Transit Connect, this still is value for money.

While car-sized vans are in demand, a side-loading door is becoming more critical and examples without are price-sensitive. The old-shape Caddy still has many admirers and prices remain firm, particularly as the new model is so scarce. A 2000W-registered example at 79,000 miles recently sold for £2,575 at Blackbushe - that’s almost £1,000 over guide prices.

The market is seeing a lot of Trafics and Vivaros coming back to the market after three-years on contract hire which means more choice for buyers.

We have noticed that a number of Vivaros have exterior roof damage, presumably from poorly loaded ladders and other paraphernalia. Vendors should be aware of this trend, particularly at end of term inspection time. While the damage may not be noticeable at ground level, it is very apparent from the galleried seats in an auction hall!

In the 4-metre wheel base sector, low mileage and clean condition are becoming rarer than ever and prices are reflecting this. Iveco Daily has been added to many buyers shopping lists recently, with the few late year examples seen to date performing strongly.

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