The New Year has seen the wholesale market start strongly, with sales up 95% on the typically quiet month of December and 0.4% up on January 2019.
Driven by increased volume in the marketplace, all sectors recorded increased sales over the previous month. LCV sales in January are on average 12.8 months older than 12 months ago, at 75.4 months but 1.3 months younger than last month. Additionally, average first-time conversion rates over the past 12 months improved by 7.4% to 83.0%.
Average vehicle mileage stands at 81,718 miles, an increase of nearly 4,300 miles on December and 2,150 miles on January 2019. With the increase in mileage and vehicle age it was no surprise to see the average sale price for the month fall. January’s average sale price was £150 lower than December and more than £500 lower than at the same point last year.
Demand for small vans saw sales double in this sector during January, with the average sale price up by £25 on December. Tidy examples of the Citroen Berlingo, Ford Transit Connect, Vauxhall Combo, Fiat Doblo and Vauxhall Corsavan have all held their value during the month, as have utility versions of the Caddy.
The popular medium van sector saw sales increase by over 45%, but returned a £60 reduction in the average sales price. Good levels of demand remain for the Ford Transit Custom, Renault Trafic, Vauxhall Vivaro and VW Transporter when mileage and condition are appropriate for the vehicle age.
The Citroen Dispatch, Peugeot Expert and Toyota Proace have also proved popular, as has utility versions of the Nissan Primastar. It was another strong month for crew vans, with the best continuing to sell well.
Sold volumes of large vans increased by nearly 60% in January – however, average sale prices reduced by £100. Across this sector, demand is for anything straight and tidy or sensibly priced. The latest-shape Ford Transit and Mercedes Sprinter are proving particularly popular together with later-plate Citroen Relay, Peugeot Boxer, Fiat Ducato and Iveco Daily models.
Sales of 4x4 pick-ups increased by nearly 45% in January, with average prices up by £100. Higher-specification models with automatic gearboxes fared best, with the Ford Ranger Wildtrak, Toyota Hilux Invincible, Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian and Nissan Navara Tekna all attracting buyers. Older examples of the Isuzu D-Max, Ford Ranger, Nissan Navara, Toyota Hilux and Mitsubishi L200 continued to attract buyers working to tighter budgets. The Fiat Fullback still struggles to gain acceptance, while rare sightings of the 2.3-litre Mercedes X-Class have underperformed.
Andy Picton is chief commercial vehicle editor at Glass’s