The October wholesale market kick-started into life with a near 50% improvement in sales over September.
Fired by a shortage in quality used stock and extended lead-in times for new vehicles, every sector reported increased sales over the previous month, with average first-time conversion rates increasing by 7.2% to 85.6%.
October stock sales are on average nine months older than 12 months ago, at 73.1 months, and 4.3 months older than last month.
Average mileage is 80,676 miles, a decrease of 63 miles on September, but over 1,750 miles more than October 2018.
The average sale price for the month decreased by over £150, reflecting the slightly older stock on offer. October’s average sale price was nearly £800 lower than at the same point last year.
Overall, October sales volumes declined 26.7% versus October 2018, highlighting the 12-month market volatility driven by continuing economic and political uncertainty.
Although volume can be an issue in this sector, the Citroen Berlingo, previous-generation Vauxhall Combo, Mercedes-Benz Citan and Ford Transit Connect continue to perform positively, with prices on a par with September.
Quality examples of the Renault Kangoo, Nissan NV200 and Fiat Doblo van – regular value brands – have also seen average prices holding firm for the month.
Volumes sold in this sector increased by more than 1.5% versus September while average prices remained static and equal to October last year. The average mileage of sold small vans in October increased by 250 miles and first-time conversion rates increased 6.8% to 86.6%.
This popular sector saw good levels of demand for the VW Transporter, Ford Transit Custom, Renault Trafic, Vauxhall Vivaro and Citroen Dispatch over the month across all ages, with the tidiest examples selling well.
Volumes sold in this sector increased 1.7% on the previous month, with average prices in line with last month. Average mileage of those sold in October decreased by over 4,350 miles and by over 6,600 miles on the same point last year. First-time conversion rates for October were up 4.9% to 87.2%.
The Ford Transit and Mercedes-Benz Sprinter remain the favourites in this sector, with the Citroen Relay, Peugeot Boxer, Renault Master and Vauxhall Movano seen as good value. The VW Crafter is growing in popularity and if priced sensibly has little difficulty in selling. Condition and mileage in this sector is particularly important.
Average prices of those sold in October were up over £100. Average mileage over the same period was down by over 7,750 miles and by over 1,600 on the same point last year. First-time conversion rates for October were up 10.5% to 84.8%.
The Mitsubishi L200, Nissan Navara, Ford Ranger, Toyota Hilux and Isuzu D-Max continue to achieve the lion’s share of sales during October, with those fitted with automatic transmissions in greatest demand. The VW Amarok continues to struggle, with only the nicest catching trade attention. Older 4x4s, regardless of badge, sell in regular numbers, with traders seeing them as good value for money. Overly hard worked examples with excessive mileages remain difficult to shift.
Sales of 4x4 pick-ups increased for the first time in four months, however, with average prices were marginally down on September. Average mileage of those sold, was down by over 1,000 miles during October and by nearly 2,300 on the same point last year. First-time conversion rates for October were up 13.2% to 78.2%.
Andy Picton is chief commercial vehicle editor at Glass’s