In line with typical summer seasonality, the August wholesale market saw limited buyer demand compounded by significant volumes of duplicate vehicles available across all segments.

Few buyers are in a rush to increase stock levels while economic and political uncertainty continues around the Brexit debate.

Stock sales are on average 10.5 months older than 12 months ago, at 77 months, with average mileage at 80,000 miles, an increase of 1,650 miles on last August. These increases highlight the caution in the market.

Overall, August sales volumes declined 25.5% on July and stand 47.3% behind August last year. Of the vehicles sold, average first-time conversion rates increased by 1.2% to 77.8%, a 1.4% increase on the same point 12 months ago.

The average sale price for the month decreased nearly £150 on July and nearly £1,000 down on August 2018. It is also the first time since December 2017 that the average sale price has dropped below £5,000.

Small Vans

(37% of overall sales)

Most vans in this sector are readily available, with the Berlingo, Partner, Combo and Transit Connect represented in number with buyers paying lower prices than July. Volkswagen Caddy Maxi vans on 15 plates are also available in number, with only the best presented with sensible miles achieving strong hammer prices.

The Kangoo and Doblo remain value for money, while demand for electric vans continues to grow as buyers tune in to the benefits of battery-powered LCVs. Volumes sold during August were down by nearly 250 units versus July.

Medium Vans

(36% of overall sales)

Prices in this sector were down nearly £175 in August, while volumes sold reduced by nearly 200 units as supply continues to outweigh demand.

However, first-time conversion rates during August increased by over 5% to 81.2%.

The Transporter, Transit Custom, Trafic, Vivaro and Dispatch continue to perform for vendors, with the best-presented crew vans continuing to generate premiums, especially high-specification versions.

Large Vans

(17% of overall sales)

Transit FWD 350 models continue to attract attention and continue to outperform their RWD equivalent, with versions in colour and higher trim levels in the most demand. Renault Masters with sensible miles sell with little difficulty. Pressure is mounting on prices for unloved high-mileage examples of dropside or tipper models on the Transit chassis. However, Luton box vans on Transit or Sprinter chassis perform well, with the best examples gaining buyer attention. In summary, sales in this sector dropped over 175 units and nearly £300 on average versus July.

4×4 Pick-ups

(10% of overall sales)

Sales in this sector were almost 90 units down, with first-time conversion dropping to 57.7%, 3.2% down on July. In a sector where supply and demand remains an issue, only the best examples of the L200 Barbarian and Warrior, Hilux Invincible and Ranger Wildtrak, preferably with automatic transmission, have found new homes. The Amarok has sold when condition and miles have been right, whilst mid-spec Isuzu D-Max, Ranger and Hilux models have performed strongly. Although often seen as value for money, the sale of older stock continues to be heavily dependent on mileage and condition. Buyers continue to overlook basic-specification Defenders in preference for higher-specification versions. The best-presented XS and special edition models continue to sell for exceptional prices.

Andy Picton is chief commercial vehicle editor at Glass’s