The LCV wholesale market proved unpredictable in May as two bank holidays and softer retail activity impacted buyer demand.

Buyers were exercising caution, as the average first-time conversion rate fell to 76%, over 10% lower than May 2018.

In the light van segment there is still huge demand for PSA products the Citroen Berlingo and Peugeo Partner. This light van ticks plenty of boxes when it comes to reliability, economy and spec. Three- to five-year old Caddys have sold well, as have similar-age Vauxhall Combos and Fiat Doblos. Older Vauxhall Astravans and Ford Transit Connects are irregular sightings nowadays, but straight examples continue to perform well.

The best-presented higher-spec medium vans continue to perform strongly. The Ford Transit Custom is a regular sight at auction, resulting in downward pressure on all but the nicest examples. Crew vans continue to be top of the popularity stakes, generating good prices for vendors. Increasing volumes of the latest-shape Citroen Dispatch and Toyota Proace have allowed their prices to firm. Meanwhile, demand for Euro6 stock has plateaued.

Buyers of large vans want higher-spec models, especially metallic colours. The Ford Transit Trend, Citroen Relay Enterprise, Peugeot Boxer Professional and Renault Master Business+ models are most in demand, especially SWB and MWB examples.

Stock availability for 4×4 pick-ups is unfavourably high at present with vendors holding too much similar stock. Only the nicest examples, priced to sell, have found success. High-specification Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian, L200 Warrior and Nissan Navara Tekna models have sold in decent volumes, while the Vauxhall Amarok Highline and Ford Ranger Wildtrak have generally underperformed. Any 4×4 fitted with an auto gearbox has tended to fare better. Conversion rates improved for older examples of the Ranger, Toyota Hilux, L200 and Navara.

Andy Picton is chief commercial vehicle editor of Glass’s, the used vehicle valuation experts.