With a consolidation in recent years seeing some popular vehicles disappearing from the UK such as the Nissan Navara and the Mitsubishi L200, the new pick-up buyer has seen a reduction in choice. But, there are a lot of vehicles out in the parc and remarketers should, in theory, have a wide range of trucks heading for the auction halls seeking new homes. So, how is demand currently compared to the last couple of post-pandemic years? Alex Wright, managing director of Shoreham Vehicles Auctions, says: “The demand for used pick-ups remains strong, particularly as there haven’t been as many coming into the used market over the recent years. Values have been pretty stable over the past two years and supply has started to increase now that fleets are disposing of used vehicles now that new vehicle supply is continuing to improve.”

Matthew Davock, Manheim’s director of commercial vehicles, also recognises the strength of the market: “It’s been pleasing to witness just how consistent, from a wholesale market price and first-time conversion point of view, this market segment has proved to be.”

Highlighting how values have followed a similar pattern to other LCVs he adds: “Our figures show that, so far this year, pick-ups are tracking 43% (average selling price) stronger versus pre-pandemic levels. That’s £17,300 today compared to £12,100 pre-pandemic. However, there is a much lower overall supply compared to previous years.” 

Davock’s sentiments are echoed by auction firm Aston Barclay. Its head of LCV, Geoff Flood, says: “It took a while for the supply of new pick-ups to improve from OEMs after the pandemic, so demand exceeded supply for quite some time, but we have seen that dynamic change over the past 12 months with more ex-fleet vehicles coming off contract as they are replaced by new vehicles.”

While the auction companies remain bullish, the retailers have a more conservative view and remain concerned that the recent announcement of changes in BIK taxation and the subsequent u-turn by HMRC may not be the end of the matter. Jim Reid, managing director of Jim Reid Vehicle Sales in Aberdeen, has seen the market soften: “The appetite has certainly started to wane a little over the last 12 months – however, this is mainly down to the massive increase in pick-up prices, the reduction in choice of manufacturers making new pick-ups and a move for many away from pick-ups to EV cars in the company car sector and limited companies.”

Reid has also noticed a weakening in values: “Generally, values are down, most especially over the last six months or so on used vehicles as the guide prices have dropped.”

The sentiment is echoed by one of the larger dealer groups. Richard James, head of used commercial vehicles at Motus Commercials, highlights a recent change in strategy by the business: “We are increasingly more reluctant to buy them in any real volume for our retail sales sites. We will, of course, organically have a reasonable number generated anyway either as part-exchanges or demonstrators but generally we approach with a cautious mindset, which has progressively developed over the last couple of years or so.” 

Citing a concern regarding values, James adds: “I think the last 12 to 18 months has seen a softening of actual transactional prices in most variants. This hasn’t always aligned with some of the fairly bullish values from Cap, which has definitely given us some issues.”

The valuation guides benefit from gaining data, information and sentiment from many sources and can often be relied upon to give an accurate and impartial overview of the market. Andy Picton, chief commercial vehicle editor at Glass’s, validates the opinion of the retailers. 

“There is still huge demand for used pick-ups, although not at the level of a few years ago,” he says. “Fuel and insurance cost increases have not helped demand either. With regard to values, the heady days of two to three years ago are firmly behind us, but values are still holding up nicely.” 

Picton suggests supply has reduced, which could help to bolster values. “Supply is lower than two or three years ago, largely due to Mitsubishi, Nissan, Mercedes-Benz, Fiat and Volkswagen (temporarily) pulling out of the sector. This has left a sizeable gap in the volumes entering the used market.”

Seeing things fairly positively is Cap-HPI’s senior editor of commercial vehicles Julian Pullen. “There is still a healthy market for pick-ups, with the sector proving very robust despite many years of ample supply. The buoyancy of the three-year-old-plus market is mostly down to so many manufacturers leaving the market and a lack of downward pressure from late examples where this is concerned.”

Our contributors were asked what was hot and what was not, in terms of brands, models and equipment. Manheim’s Davock exercises a note of caution. “Lower-spec double-cab models are certainly more challenging today as buyers seek the higher specification models,” he says. “In some instances, a low spec versus top spec could be as much as £6,000-£8,000 in difference in today’s market.” 

Glass’s Picton echoes this view: “It’s the higher-spec models, with powerful engines mated to an automatic gearbox, that perform best. That said, a tidy 4×4 workhorse single cab is rare and will normally command strong prices on the open market as well.”

Jim Reid is forthright in his opinions, citing which models are easier to sell. 

“Most popular is the Ranger Wildtrack 2.0 bi-turbo and V6, VW Amarok V6 new and previous model and the Toyota Hilux 2.8 Invincible,” he says. “Least popular? Nissan Navara post-2017 MY due to the issues with AdBlue, Ssangyong Musso because it is ugly, and the Maxus T90 because of build quality.”

Cap-HPI’s Pullen stresses the importance of key items of specification – “Automatic gearbox is hugely favoured, with high specifications and extras such as canopies and bed covers also making a big difference to a sale” – while Motus’s James expresses a similar sentiment: “High-spec autos that have some type of back on them remain the vehicles of choice to have in stock. While there are still buyers for manual pick-ups out there, any of these coupled with a lower specification remain a challenge to move on.” 

Glass’s Picton focuses on the wide choice offered by some manufacturers, making them a popular choice: “Historically, the Mitsubishi L200, Nissan Navara, the Ford Ranger and the Toyota Hilux have always been go-to ranges as these manufacturers offered 4×2 and 4×4 models, single-, extended- and double-cab variants and manual and automatic transmissions. As the former two are no longer in production, used examples are scarcer. Strong prices are still paid for the nicest, high-spec models, although they lack the latest technology featured in newer pick-ups.”

Shoreham’s Wright is seeing a high demand for legacy vehicles no longer in production. “The Mitsubishi L200 and Nissan Navara are in high demand and make strong money,” he says, and Aston Barclay’s Flood adds: “The Nissan Navara, Ford Ranger and the Toyota Hilux were the three most popular models that we sold at auction during February and March.”

Supported by:

Manheim _logo _498x class=