ANDY PICTON'S AUCTION BLOG: Crew vans in demand

Date: Monday, September 17, 2018

Everyone loves a crew van in the medium panel van sector with huge premiums paid for the top examples.

The market slowed and demand eased during the first half of July as many potential buyers enjoyed England’s extended run in the World Cup while others took advantage of the beautiful weather.

However, once that heady summer spell passed, the second half of the month saw business improve with vendors reporting steady conversion rates.

Unsurprisingly, July recorded a 9% decrease on June or 1,000 fewer units sold at auction.

This is still 7% up on 12 months ago; nevertheless, the average sale price increased by a nominal £2 during the month and by 12.8% on July 2017. The average age of sold stock decreased by 1.3 months to 61.8 months while first-time conversion rates fell for the third month in a row to 76.8%.

These figures should come as no surprise: A1-condition vehicles with the right mileage, colour and history are thin on the ground, resulting in inflated prices as everyone fights over the best vehicles. Aircon now seems to be a prerequisite if best prices are to be achieved, while damaged stock and anything poorly repaired is rarely entertained.

Anything requiring a little TLC will find a buyer, as will unusual stock such as caged tippers often sourced from local authorities or the MoD.

There are a lot of latest-shape Ford Transit Connects available at present, with most showing sensible miles selling without issue. Greatest demand and best prices are for those Limited models in metallic colours.

The Citroen Berlingo is another regular at auction, with the high-spec Enterprise as popular as ever. Crew vans in the light van sector are also in demand, with examples of the VW Caddy, Transit Connect, Fiat Doblo and Mercedes Citan all performing strongly.

Depending on which utility firm is defleeting at the time the best examples of the Vauxhall Combo and Corsavan, Fiat Bipper/Fiorino and previous-generation Transit Connect attract the trade.

The usual suspects in the medium panel van sector – the Vauxhall Vivaro, Trafic and the Transit Custom – remain commonplace, with seemingly every other Custom now in Limited spec. This is placing downward pressure on all but the very best examples.

Everyone loves a crew van in this sector with huge premiums paid for the top examples from Ford, VW, Renault/Vauxhall and PSA. Expectations are that most will come with extras such as aircon, an auto gearbox and a tailgate.

A lack of stock and quality in the large van sector remains a major issue, with average prices up by £835 on this time last year. The Mercedes Sprinter, Ford Transit, Citroen Relay, Peugeot Boxer, Fiat Ducato and Renault Master have all performed well over the month with the high-spec Enterprise, Professional and Business+ models regularly selling strongly. Chassis-based models such as dropsides, tippers and Lutons if supported with sensible miles have sold quickly and for strong money.

Nearly 140 fewer 4x4s sold at auction in July as demand softened. There is a general oversupply of stock in this sector with many models labouring to find new homes. The oversupply has meant that only the very best examples have sold. The Ford Ranger Limited, the Mitsubishi Barbarian and the previous-generation Nissan Navara Tekna continue to gain little traction, while hard-worked examples of the low-spec Toyota Hilux, Ford Ranger and Isuzu D-Max have been often avoided. Limited or special edition models proved popular, as did the rare sighting of a tidy Mitsubushi Shogun van.

The small volumes and car-like interior of the VW Amarok have guaranteed a sale, while any 4x4 selling in the region of £8,000-10,000 including VAT has been snapped up without hesitation.

Andy Picton is chief commercial vehicle editor of Glass’s, the used vehicle valuation experts.



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