Fleet News

LCV Disposals: Condition is key as buyers get choosy

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

THERE is no doubt about it, the crowds have eased off in the auction halls as the weather warms up and summer is truly upon us.

The halls are still, however, busy – just not as packed as they have been since the beginning of the year and prices are still strong with buyers keen to pick up quality vehicles.

Demonstrating the continued strength of the market, Haydock hosted its largest ever light commercial vehicle sale recently. A record 241 vans sold on the day from vendors including Royal Mail, Northgate Vehicle Sales, Asset Advantage, XBG, Artegy, Toyota Finance and Alamo/National Car Rental.

Four-and-a-half hours on the rostrum saw 320 vehicles on offer to eager buyers who showed particular interest in an 04/54 Toyota Hilux 4x4 EX single-cab and an 01/51 Renault Kangoo 665D which sold for 120% and 116% of CAP Clean respectively.

A key trend that has emerged in the market is the growing importance of the condition of LCVs. Sellers who have invested in refurbishing their vehicles before sale are seeing the benefits, with scruffy stock often not selling on the first offering.

Buyers are actively seeking out the vehicles that are in good condition and even the odd knock here and dent there are putting off would-be buyers.

It’s in the car-derived sector where vehicles are particularly standing out – two-year-old Vauxhall Combos are selling particularly well with prices remaining strong, as are Vauxhall Astravans which remain hugely popular.

In the 3.5-tonne sector, used Ford Transits are still in plentiful supply but again the amount of damage on the bodywork is key, with the majority of buyers looking for a near-enough perfect vehicle as opposed to a fix-up.

Vehicle condition is an issue we have been talking about in the LCV arena for some time now and its importance continues to have an impact on sales. Buyers are simply more choosy – they want to purchase vans that will have the shortest turnaround time and least additional costs once bought.

Sellers are certainly switched on to the need for reconditioning and sales of the BVRLA and Manheim’s LCV Fair Wear and Tear Guide, are testament to this. Many fleet operators who now use the guide to assess fair wear and tear on end-of-contract vehicles wonder how they ever did without it and have saved hundreds if not thousands of pounds in wear and tear charges.

The result for buyers are first rate vehicles available to purchase at auction.

Sample of latest prices achieved

Year Make/model Mileage Sale price
0353 Ford Transit 2.0TDI 75PS SWB L/O 118,327 £4,050
01Y Vauxhall Combo 1.7D Epic 775 38,023 £1,450
0303 Vauxhall Combo 1.7DI 16v 39,839 £2,600
0252 Vauxhall Astra 1.7TD 76,301 £2,500
0454 Vauxhall Astra Envoy 1.7DTI 16v 64,943 £4,400

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