While auction stock levels remained relatively high during April with buyers being presented with a varied choice of vehicles, volumes sold decreased for the fourth month in a row, down 7.1% on March.

What remains a major problem for the trader is the lack of quality stock to replace sold units, with continually increasing prices eating into any profit opportunities. This has resulted in a further rise of £74 in the average price of sold stock during April and a massive £923 over the past 12 months. Of those sold, 86% did so at the first time of asking, up 3.9% on March (it was 72.9% in March 2017), while their average age fell by 0.5 months to 63 months.

Citroen’s Berlingo dominated the small van sector, with just under 200 sales at auction of the Enterprise 625 model alone in April. The latest shape Ford Transit Connect and VW’s Caddy also sold without difficulty.

Previous generation 260 and 280 SWB Transits continue to thrive. The Ford Transit Custom 270 is another that hits the spot, with high-mileage five-year-old examples seen as particularly good value. The VW Transporter and Renault Trafic also attracted lots of buyers, with the nicest selling for super-strong prices.

The large van sector has seen demand soar for the best 3.5t stock. Medium-wheelbase models remained popular in April, with any offering aircon and metallic paint snapped up. Two- to three-year old long-wheelbase, high-roof examples from PSA sold strongly, with many buyers wanting Enterprise and Professional trim levels.

Sales of 4×4 pick-ups declined during April with 95 fewer being sold over the month. Nevertheless, average sale prices increased by £266 and were more than £800 higher than 12 months ago. There is a ready supply of Mitsubishi L200, Ford Ranger and Nissan Navara product available, with buyers able to cherry-pick the best. The VW Amarok is a rare sight, which has resulted in very strong prices being paid, while the Toyota Hilux and Isuzu D-Max have a loyal following.

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