October recorded a 6.2% decline in used sales at auction, with more than 700 fewer vehicles sold versus October 2017.
A reduction in good quality stock forced buyers to pay nearly 10% more on average over this period, while the average age of stock sold increased by 0.1 months to 63.8 months. The average mileage over the month rose by over 2,600 miles, while first-time conversion rates increased for the fourth month in a row to 82.9%.
The Ford Transit Connect continues to perform strongly in the small van segment, with prices spiking for the best examples. This has also benefitted the pre-2013 Transit Connect, with higher prices paid for the best available. Tidy Citroen Berlingo, Peugeot Partner, Volkswagen Caddy and Vauxhall Combo models have performed well, leading to average sales prices in this segment increasing by nearly £100 over the month and nearly £300 over the past year.
Trade favourite, the Ford Transit Custom, continues to appear and sell in equally large volumes at auction, although damaged examples do underperform, with prices decreasing accordingly. The Renault Trafic and Vauxhall Vivaro are staples of the auction and have a loyal following, which has seen values remain steady. The smaller volumes of the VW Transporter continue to strengthen its position in the market, leading to the majority selling without issue. In this, the most popular sector of the market, average sales prices have increased by nearly £200 over the month, but have remained static over the year.
Well-maintained large panel vans tend to send auction attendees into meltdown, with trade buyers willing to pay over the odds to take ownership. Later-year examples from PSA or Renault continue to sell well, as will any VW Sprinter or Ford Transit with sensible mileages.
The bonus of extra equipment such as air-conditioning or metallic paint regularly result in a premium on the hammer price. Chassis-based dropsiders, tippers or Luton vans performed well in October, leading to average sales prices increasing by over £275 over the month and more than £600 versus the same point last year.
Meanwhile, the colder, wetter days are seeing a firming of values in the 4x4 segment. Over 1,550 found new homes during the month with the highest specified, ideally with automatic gearboxes, performing well. However, some models including the Fiat Fullback, continue to struggle even with good specification. Typically, the Ford Ranger, Volkswagen Amarok and the majority of Toyota Hilux models have seen values firm. In this segment, average sale prices are up by nearly £300 over the past month and £450 from the past year.
As always, condition, mileage and specification remain key buying consideration factors, with vehicles meeting these criteria genearlly selling with ease.
It’s worth noting, too, that, currently, vendors appear to find pricing Euro6 stock trickiest, with high asking prices treading on the toes of discounted new models; value-for-money stock from five to 10 years old is hitting the spot with buyers, especially vehicles sold with a hammer price that includes VAT; and that demand for crew vans continues, especially in the medium van sector where these vehicles command the most interest.
Andy Picton is chief commercial vehicle editor of Glass’s, the used vehicle valuation experts.