Non-franchised van dealers report that the market has slowed, with a significant decline in retail activity over the past few months, according to experts at Glass’s Guide to Used Commercial Vehicles.
Coinciding with the traditional summer slowdown, dealers are taking a further knock from an uncertain economic outlook that has hit customer confidence.
The worst potential outcome is for prices to be driven ever lower as a growing number of vans are offered to a customer base that is shrinking.
“Providing volumes do not grow too much in a sluggish marketplace and with the hope that by the start of winter the worst of the country’s economic problems are in remission, things could look more promising by spring 2009,” said George Alexander, chief commercial vehicle editor at EurotaxGlass’s.
Analysis shows that prices are in retreat across all light commercial vehicle sectors, after many months of stability when prices held firm.
As yet, this weakness is mostly restricted to those less well-presented vans with high mileage or damage.
Elsewhere, falls in value represent little more than standard monthly movements driven by age and wear and tear.
Over at CAP, experts are already seeing a slowdown in both sales and enquiries.
A spokesman said: “It is a particularly bitter pill following such a strong trading period over the past 18 months.
“The market is now extremely cautious, largely mirroring the current picture of economic uncertainty.”
Healthy appetite still exists for large panel vans, CAP says, but only quality stock is shifting.
The spokesman added: “This cherry-picking has left many sub-standard vans often bypassed entirely by buyers and has led to supply overtaking demand in some cases.”
Sub-2.0t vans are faring better, however, with a good balance of supply and demand.