Failure at time of purchase to consider the specification needs of used buyers further down the line can cost light commercial buyers dear when it comes to resale time, says Glass’s.
At auction, the worst residual value performers in the LCV segment are those originally purchased by fleet or rental buyers who did not know how to suitably spec the vehicle to meet the second user’s requirements.
George Alexander, chief commercial vehicle editor at Glass’s, commented: “The average operator of a light commercial vehicle is no expert on what will best bolster residual values. But there are some basic steps you can take. For example, when buying a new van, it is wise to consider how it will be perceived when offered as a used van and to whom it will appeal.”
Condition also plays a huge part in LCV RVs, according to Alexander. Damaged or disfigured bodywork can really count against a used van’s worth. He explained: “Understandably, the first owner may wish to promote his company’s name with a logo. However, the next owner will not, so using removable vinyl decals is a far better option than permanent sign-writing.”
“Regardless of the load and use a vehicle is to be put to, internal plywood lining is certain to prove a wise investment as dents caused by unsecured loads damage sales prospects,” Alexander continued.
In addition to better protecting themselves utilising such best practice, LCV buyers will also soon be offered better warranty protection on bodywork and chassis thanks to the impending EC Whole Vehicle Type Approval directive.
Currently, problems arising on the chassis are typically handled by the franchised network, with most bodywork issues being referred back to the coachbuilder. However, the forthcoming changes should give the customer a single point of resolution in regards to problems that arise during their ownership period.
Alexander noted: “It will become even more crucial for buyers to differentiate between varying build qualities and be prepared to pay more for the best. For example, if a manufacturer offers a high-standard 3.5-tonne tipper body that incorporates the best materials, technologies and safety features then, as a used vehicle, it will merit a significant premium over lesser product.”
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