Fleet News

‘Rumours from the rostrum’

“Demand strong, especially for 4x4s as winter approaches”

“For the last month we have seen increased consistency in the van auction halls.  During the summer months the regular faces only seemed to be appearing randomly however now they are in attendance and buying every week. When questioned they all say there has been an increase in buyers visiting their forecourts, however there is an indication that retail footfall is regionally inconsistent with dealers located in and around towns and cities reporting stronger activity. That said perhaps a combination of recent government spending reviews, cost of living hikes, the upcoming VAT increase and reduced consumer confidence has led to a cooling even if that is not the case nationwide. Also now it seems that all price ranges are in demand. Over the past year it seemed that everyone was focussing on vehicles in the £3,000 to £4,000 price range but now the late, low mileage market seems to be seeing an upturn and this has helped push prices up in the auction halls.

Although there is a lot of duplicated stock around at present buyers will still bid for it as long as the reserve is set realistically which is another good sign that they need the stock. Auction centres that are fortunate enough to have the right mix of stock and send out a good catalogue prior to the sale are being rewarded with packed halls, strong bids and excellent conversion rates and in doing so are being replenished with stock from happy vendors.

The latest upturn to be seen is on the 4x4 front. All models up to five years old are being fought over and achieving strong hammer prices. We can only assume that as we approach December buyers are hoping for another hard winter of snow and frost.”

Tim Spencer, group commercial vehicle auctioneer, Manheim Auctions

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