"Volkswagen’s Caddy leads the way in this sector, particularly when equipped with suitable extras,” Alexander says. “But Ford’s Connect continues to lose ground, being readily available on the open market. Any examples presented in poor condition, or with high mileage, tend to sell for prices that disappoint the vendors.”

How about hatchback-derived vans? “Renault’s Clio, Citroën’s C2 and the Peugeot 206 attract good interest when presented in A1 condition and Ford’s Fiesta continues to find favour, remaining the preferred choice,” he says.

Moving back up the weight scale, vans with extra equipment such as air-conditioning and metallic paint sell better second-hand than more basic models. “However, the economic downturn has seen prices slip for many late-year examples,” he says.

“Renault’s Trafic, Vauxhall’s Vivaro and Nissan’s Primastar are finding willing buyers without too much difficulty, despite increasing volumes, and demand for the best Volkswagen Transporters remains firm,” Alexander says. “Indeed Transporter continues to out-perform the market in the medium van sector.”

What’s happening with 3.5 tonne vans? “With a noticeable increase in the numbers appearing at auction, buyers can now pick up the best examples at lower prices,” he replies. “Particularly affected are Fiat’s Ducato, Citroën’s Relay and Peugeot’s Boxer as well as their Vauxhall and Renault counterparts.”

“So far as this size of van is concerned used buyers generally don’t like the medium wheelbase/low roof configuration as it’s neither one thing nor the other,” remarks Duncan Ward, UK business development manager, commercial vehicles, at auctioneer BCA. “Low-powered examples are avoided whatever the configuration, especially if they’re going to be used for delivery work.”

The downturn in the building trade is hitting some sectors of the market. “Tippers and dropsides have suffered most and prices for Ford Transit 350 double cab tippers have fallen particularly sharply,” Alexander observes.

“Demand for tippers and dropsides is thin, but Lutons and boxes find a ready audience if they are in a clean and tidy condition,” says Ward.