This year has seen the used market slowly pick up the pace as we have moved through January and into early February.
There is plenty of stock available across all sectors, covering all ages. However, it is the ready-to-retail stock that is in greatest demand.
With plenty of ‘run of the mill’ stock available, buyers are also finding solace in stock that is sub-£8,000 or VAT-inclusive, believing it is ‘a lot of metal for the money’.
Volumes sold at auction in January increased by a massive 80.1% over December and 5.1% on the same point last year. Overall, over 560 more light commercial vehicles were sold at auction in January 2018 than 12 months earlier, pointing to a healthy used market with plenty of buyer demand.
Average sale prices increased by 3.1% over the month and were £230 higher than 12 months ago. Of those sold, 72.4% did so at the first time of asking, down 1.5% on the previous month and also down 1.5% on January 2017. Interestingly, stock sold at the first time of asking did so for £85 more on average than those sold at the second or subsequent time.
The small van, medium van and large van sectors all returned first-time conversion rates of between 78.0-79.5%, with only the 4x4 sector showing some weakness, with conversions hovering around the 70% mark.
Medium panel vans make up over 36% of all sales at auction, with the Ford Transit Custom, VW Transporter, Renault Trafic and Vauxhall Vivaro remaining the most frequently offered. Crew van and Kombi variants continue to fetch huge premiums, proving popular with both businesses and families alike.
The large van sector is most popular in the two- to four-year-old age bracket with nearly 600 units sold during January. Rare short-wheelbase, low-roof examples have sold well, as have well-maintained medium-wheelbase high-roof vans. Models with aircon and metallic paint have also caught the eye and generally performed well. Dropsides, tippers and Luton vans continue to enjoy plenty of success if the condition and mileage is sensible.
There are a large number of 4x4 double-cab pick-ups available at auction, with plenty of opportunity for buyers to snap up nice examples at a sensible price. The Mitsubishi L200, Nissan Navara, Ford Ranger, Isuzu D-Max and Toyota Hilux are all regular sights, with prices on the slide for all but the very best examples.
Overall, stock volumes didn’t grow too much during the first six weeks of the year – however, expectations are for them to do so as we progress into Q2 and Q3. This is likely to place further downward pressure on base spec and/or damaged stock.
Andy Picton is chief commercial vehicle editor of Glass’s, the used vehicle valuation experts.