Fleet News

LCV Disposals: Holidays and World Cup fail to dampen enthusiasm

BCA’s UK business development manager - commercial vehicles Duncan Ward reports.

AT the half-year point the LCV market remains strong, with the second quarter of 2006 matching the first in terms of price and conversions. This is despite the distractions of the many Bank Holidays and even the World Cup and many corporate sellers are recording stronger results now than they were earlier in the year.

The end-user and business buyer have been very active in the market and this is helping to keep prices – and confidence – high.

Looking around the various sectors there is a great deal of demand for smaller vans, which tend to be favoured by the self-employed and small business user. There remains a shortage of hatchbacks at all ages and mileages and demand in the £1,500 to £2,000 price bracket is exceptional. While supplies of car-sized vans are healthy, buyers are still clamouring for product in this sector and prices remain strong.

A side-loading door is essential (two is even better and can add £200 - £300).

Escort still remains a firm favourite and Astra van is in demand.

Buyers are competing hard for small panel vans and the sector remains very buoyant. The Scudo, Expert and Dispatch family deliver a combination of size, good looks and practicality that make them ideal for the self-employed tradesman who doesn’t need huge carrying capacity or a long-wheel-base. And with many vans spending overnight parked in a residential setting, these smaller examples are less intrusive.

In the one tonne van sector it is crystal-clear that the buyers’ expectations are generally rising. Specification is very important and is not lagging far behind what motorists expect in their own cars.

Consequently, vans that have air-conditioning, electric windows, central locking, power-steering and CD/radio are much favoured over more basic models. A bulkhead is seen as necessary protection for the driver and passengers and essential in conjunction with air conditioning. The interior should be protected with ply-lining. Get all this right and there’s plenty of demand, particularly if the van’s in a good colour – but don’t forget the usual rules apply on presentation.

In contrast to the one tonne vans, there is an oversupply of medium- and long-wheel base panel vans, with many arriving at the point of sale in poor quality.

Double-cab pick-ups remain an interesting niche sector that continues to grow in importance and volume, even with the many new models entering the market.

BCA has seen a resurgence in demand in all areas, but condition and specification is critical to achieve the top prices.

Generally the rule of thumb is that base-specification examples only attract the buyers who will want to put the vehicle back to work, while the high-spec models are increasingly seen as a ‘rugged’ option for the family car.

Land Rover product is highly desirable and buyers will travel for the right example – we know this from tracking usage on our Commercial Auction View online stock locator www.commercialauctionview.com which shows Land Rover as the most requested search.

Body builds are price, mileage and type sensitive, but if the body is unusual, then you can be confident of seeing a lot of interest from buyers.

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