Retail and wholesale activity was slow in July, with economic caution and the holiday period cited as reasons.
This is having a knock-on effect, with trade buyers less engaged and many only attending auctions to gain feedback on wholesale performance and pricing.
Over the past three years, the wholesale market has held up well, reducing the impact of seasonal fluctuations. Today, stock continues to return at an older age with higher miles and in poorer condition, subsequently influencing buyer appetite. Bucking the trend of a declining used market, small electric vans are very much in demand. This sub-sector continues to command stronger prices on a monthly basis.
The average first-time conversion rates returned a 4.4% rise for July versus June, but remain 1.5% down on July last year, and the average sale price for the month was down nearly £300 on June and nearly £1,000 down on July 2018. The average age of the vehicles sold was 2.8 months older versus June and over a year older than stock sold in July 2018.
From the Ford Fiesta Van to the Nissan NV200, the majority of all vans in this sector continue to be available in numbers. Later-plate Vauxhall Combo, Ford Transit Connect, Fiat Doblo, VW Caddy and Renault Kangoo have come under further downward pressure – prices paid are more than £200 less than in June.
Values for the Nissan eNV200, Citroen Berlingo/Peugeot Partner electric and the Kangoo Z.E. electric vans continue to strengthen as buyers realise the merits of battery-powered propulsion.
Prices in this sector steadied during July, with average sale prices on a par with June. Volumes sold continue to fall, as supply continues to outweigh demand. The availability of plenty of late-year PSA, Ford and VW product is not helping their performance. However, crew vans generally continue to yield good prices for vendors.
Older but tidy examples of the Citoren Dispatch/Peugeot Expert/Toyota Proace and early examples of the Ford Transit Custom, Renault Trafic/Vauxhall Vivaro or VW Transporter have little trouble in finding buyers. Examples of the ex-utility Transit 300 SWB m/roof continue to prove popular with those seeking something a little different.
Mercedes Sprinter and Transit FWD 290 and 350 models continue to attract attention, with colour versions with sensible miles selling strongly. Higher-specification Citroen Relay, Peugeot Boxer and Renault Master models are good value for money. Similarly, tidy examples of curtain-sider, dropside or tipper continue to attract buyer attention with solid prices, especially if mileages are low. Examples of the current VW Crafter are available in volume and consequently prices are tumbling, with many emanating from ex-rental sources.
Too much similar stock continues to blight this sector, with average prices paid nearly £375 lower than June. However, high-specification models of the Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian, Ford Ranger Wildtrak, Nissan Navara Tekna and Toyota Hilux Invincible with automatic transmission are relatively easy to shift if the vendors are willing to work with the buyers.
Vendors holding out rigidly for their reserves find few buyers. The VW Amarok Highline and Fiat Fullback continue to underperform. Older stock is faring better, with buyers seeing them as better value for money. Government-sourced basic-specification Land Rover Defenders fail to inspire buyers who are keen on higher-specification XS and special-edition models, with near-retail prices paid for the best stock