Fleet News

Disposals: Market is exceptionally upbeat as autumn arrives

DUNCAN Ward , BCA’s UK business development manager – Commercial Vehicles, gives an auctioneer’s view of the used market in October.

Have new registrations for CVs plateaued in 2006? Looking at the SMMT rolling year figures that could be a conclusion you draw, but with so much new product entering the market many LCV buyers have adopted a wait and see approach.

It’s certainly not something that could be said of the used market, which has been consistently upbeat in 2006, with professional buyers competing to satisfy the huge retail demand that has been reported.

The past two months have been exceptional and September was never better – although those with long memories might claim 1987 as being comparable. If you are a seller in this market, this is as good as it gets, so make the most of it. We have not seen demand like this since the late 1980s, but of course we do not have the recessionary pressures in the market that we endured then.

Hence clean stock is selling for exceptional money and even damaged stock will be considered if there is nothing else. Late plate vehicles continue to make excellent money, but remember this may be affected by any discounts available on new product. While the market will remain strong over 2006 into 2007, we might expect to see some pressure on prices early in 2007.

Rare and unusual stock is attracting premium prices, as are vehicles with added options such as aircon, metallic paint, alloy wheels and sat-nav for example.

There’s still a shortage of hatchbacks and this combined with the high demand is keeping prices firm. A side-loading door is critical for car-sized vans and colour and spec remain important. Small panel vans are attracting premiums for facelift models, and all panel vans generally are mileage and condition critical.

There is a shortage of single-cab pickups, which has firmed prices and while double- cab pick-ups are about in greater numbers they still remain in demand. There is marked difference in value between ‘working’ and ‘private’ 4x4 double-cabs, owever.

Any damage on an L200, for example, can exert strong downward pressure on values, as parts are difficult – and expensive – to source. They have to enter the used market ‘clean as a whistle’.

As we have seen all year long, there is a desperate shortage of Land Rovers and values can be sky high and there is some positive news for body builds, with a definite upturn across all ranges. Despite all the new product about, there is plenty of life left in the older, replaced models. Particularly older Transits and Escorts, which are well known and understood by small tradesman, for example, and are a steady seller at retail.

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