Chief CV editor George Alexander warned that the current situation closely mirrored that of the late 1980s, just before the big recession of the early 1990s.
He said: ‘Then, strong new sales coupled with restricted production led to six-month waiting lists.
This high level of demand was replicated in the used marketplace, with extraordinarily high prices being paid for prime stock. Then, too little notice was taken of the underlying weakness in the wider economy, which meant that heavy investment could not be supported when the market fell.
‘Now the overall health of the economy is hopefully built upon firmer foundations and there are undoubtedly opportunities that lie ahead. Yet it would be wise to temper some of the enthusiasm for business expansion with an appreciation of just how cyclical our market can prove.’
Glass’s has highlighted the new-shape Volkswagen Transporter and Mercedes-Benz Vito as star performers in the used market at present. Alexander said: ‘These models are beginning to appear in low numbers, yet the high standing they hold with trade buyers and end-users is already crystal clear.’
Over at CAP, bi-fuel Ford Transit Connects are bucking the trend for LPG vehicles in general by performing well at auction, along with late-plate Volkswagen Caddys and Vauxhall Astravans.
Citroen Berlingos and Vauxhall Combos are in plentiful supply but are still proving popular.
Condition is once again a crucial factor in whether or not vans sell at auction. CAP says the market is generally more accepting of higher mileages in the large panel van sector, but only if the general condition of the vehicle is good. Conversion for a special purpose can also limit prospects.
A spokesman said: ‘Enhanced specification, clean condition and low mileage continues to be the key to success and the combination of all three can produce impressive results.’