February saw vendor activity increase to the extent that volumes from certain sources outstripped demand. This impacted both conversion rates and average values, as buyers were presented with a much wider choice of stock, and were in turn more selective.

Glass’s data shows that 71.4% of all vehicles sold at auction went at the first time of asking, compared with 76.4% in February 2016. However, vehicles with the highest specification saw a rise in the average price paid, up 9.7% on last year.

Generally, the greatest demand was for clean three- to six-year old stock with less than 60,000 miles covered. Harder worked or damaged vehicles continued to sell when realistically appraised, with others selling provisionally at best.

The Fiesta Van, a stalwart of the UK marketplace for over 40 years has now ceased production. Used examples remain popular with Sport trim in particular, selling strongly to Glass’s values.

Meanwhile, the 3.5t large panel sector is coming under increased downward pressure, with many overworked examples currently on offer. Strongest values are paid for those derivatives that can be put straight back to work, while 17-seat minibuses continue to struggle.
Finally, only standout examples of 4x4s will gain much attention at auction, with high-spec double-cabs remaining the most desirable.

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