Attendances at auction during July and early August remained positive with plenty of trade buyers stocking up before taking their summer holidays. 

The increasingly large numbers available on the open market, has now forced some of the bigger auction houses to add additional sales events to cope with the volume, with the best or rarest stock singled out for attention. Stock needing work continues to be a difficult sell, with bids way behind ‘Guide’ for those needing remedial work.

July returned a 1.9% decline in the volumes sold at auction compared with the month prior, although it remained 0.7% up on the same point last year. Conversions of under two-year-old stock across all sectors fell by nearly 17%, while stock aged two to four years old and four to six years old rose by 1.5% and 1.6%, respectively.

These figures reflect the improving mix of vehicles at auction, with rental volumes easing over the month. Average stock age of units sold increased to 61.8 months from 61.3 months, which again reflects the reduction of rental volumes entering the open market.

The car-derived sector has seen strong performances from the Ford Transit Connect and Citroen Berlingo Enterprise over the past month, while the medium panel van sector has performed at its strongest when the vehicle has a high level of specification.

Extras such as an automatic gearbox, tailgate, metallic paint or crew van conversion has seen the halls awash with interest. Those after a large panel van have had success over the month in the form of some nice examples of the Ford Transit and Mercedes Sprinter. However, most vans in this sector have been offered in a hard-worked condition.

The 4×4 sector remains a concern with supply continuing to outweigh demand. Previous-generation models have now lost their appeal and look dated, with only the best examples selling. Later-year examples are finding life no easier as reserves for these are too close to a discounted new model.

On the whole, vendor conversion rates are on the increase with anything between 85-90% seen as the norm at the moment, with many insisting that if it wasn’t for the poor performance of the 4×4 sector conversions would be a lot nearer the 100% mark.

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