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10 Oct 2007

Used panel vans on a high

Demand for medium-sized used panel vans has remained strong through much of 2007, and EurotaxGlass's predicts that this trend is set to continue into first half of 2008.  "With such a healthy backdrop for panel vans, just about every van range is achieving its best-ever used price performance," comments George Alexander, Chief Commercial Vehicle Editor at EurotaxGlass's.

"Late-year Mercedes-Benz Sprinters and Volkswagen Crafters and LTs continue to sit at the top of trade buyers' most wanted list, which to a large extent is driven by very limited supply of popular used stock.  For months past, and across all the auction halls, each clean van that became available has reaped the rewards and sold at a fast and furious pace," says Alexander.

Certain manufacturers who have struggled to make inroads in the 3.5-tonne sector over recent past years have benefited from the shortage of stock.  "Iveco's Daily falls into this category and it's their long and high roof vans with high power outputs that do the best business.  Buyers are eagerly awaiting the first of the New Dailys to appear at auction."



Used CV market - key trends
George Alexander highlights other key trends in the used CV market:

Used lightweight vans

  • Indicated Glass's Guide values are being paid for popular small vans like Renault's Clio, Ford's Fiesta, Peugeot's 206 and Vauxhall's Corsa, but all such models come under considerable downwards pressure as volume grows.  For example, recently at auction a number of ex-BT Ford Ka vans sold at prices between £1,000 and £1,500 on '02 and '03-plates.
  • Currently, there are steady numbers of late-year, low mileage Vauxhall Astra Envoys becoming available, with clean examples attracting good prices,  However, lower-specced Astravans can struggle when the far more appealing Sportive model is available.
  • Of late, Renault Kangoos have fallen out of favour and are not being helped by fantastic deals on new models equipped with air-conditioning and satellite navigation.  Unless presented in pristine condition the Kangoo and Nissan Kubistar are currently finding it difficult to attract any consistent interest from trade buyers.
  • Late-year examples of Vauxhall Combo with side loading doors, typically emanating from one of the utilities, continue to enjoy improved market sentiment, especially the better examples with common-rail diesel engines.
  • With higher numbers appearing at auction, Ford's Connect continues to lose ground to its competitors yet most of this weakness is confined to those T200 models without a side-loading door.  Prices for vans offered in poorer condition, or with higher mileage, are slipping as buyers become increasingly choosy.
  • Volkswagen's Caddy TDi consistently returns strong money as supply and demand is rarely out of step.  By comparison, the SDi model performs far less well yet still stands its ground against the opposition.

Used panel vans

  • The few Toyota HiAces being offered at auction still attract high levels of interest.  Likewise, similar sized offerings such as Fiat Scudo / Peugeot Expert and Nissan Vanette / LDV Cub vans sell easily when presented in clean condition.  
  • The star turn over the last month was a further selection of low mileage ex-satellite TV Vauxhall Vivaros on 2004 '04-plates that were offered at a major auction site.  Elsewhere, there are significantly more Renault Trafic, Vauxhall Vivaro and Nissan Primastar vans doing the rounds that are less desirable, and here the going becomes more difficult.  Each marque has its own fan-base yet it's only the latter that has failed to make a real impact on both the new and used buyer.
  • Vauxhall is currently enjoying particularly good returns with the Sportive.  Recently at auction we noted a 2007 '07-plate Vivaro Sportive that, despite having a few scuffs, still achieved £11,400.
  • Numbers of Volkswagen T5 Transporters coming to the open market remain steady at present with the nicest used stock sourced from the manufacturer's own finance arm achieving the strongest values.
  • Increasing numbers of Mercedes-Benz's latest Vito model appearing on the open market have done little to dampen trade buyers' enthusiasm, with the best examples commanding particularly strong prices.
  • Short wheelbase, front wheel-drive Ford Transits hold a respected market position with prices at a level that competitor ranges struggle to match.  As the years pass, Transit 190s have become a relatively rare sight in the auction halls yet still have their fair share of admirers who will pay good money for the best of these old warhorses.  Transit 350s remain popular, with most interest reserved for the best examples of LWB, high roof vans with plenty of horsepower.

Used trucks

  • Truck dealers remain upbeat in a marketplace that, courtesy of ludicrously long lead times on new chassis, goes from strength to strength.
  • At 7.5 tonnes, dropsiders and tippers are making strong money if clean and tidy, yet prices drop quickly for any older, hard-used chassis.
  • Long-bodied boxes and curtainsiders coupled to a high-powered chassis sell easily, especially if equipped with a recognised tail lift.
  • Currently, 18-tonne rigids at three and four-years of age, which are thin on the ground, are all in high demand and make good money whilst those chassis less than three-years old command exceptional prices.  Last month, a 2005 '05 DAF CF65.220 4x2 sleeper 24' curtainsider with 138,000km took a provisional bid of £29,600, which was declared to be a long way off reserve.
  • At auction, an even more rare sight is the late-plate multi-axle box or curtainsider, that will be an instant hit with trade buyers and operators alike.
  • Tippers still top the popularity stakes at all weights yet most excitement is reserved for the 6x4 and 8x4 categories where high demand outstrips the meagre supply.  
  • Invariably, those rare examples of attractive multi-axle tippers that do emerge from the most desirable marques will exceed all expectations.
  • Many truck dealers offer the opinion that if you can find nice late-year Euro III heavies then you can name your own price.  On top models, such as DAF 105XF, the wait to get a new tractor unit is reported to be well in excess of a year.  To some operators this may seem incomprehensible and must make it nigh on impossible to react to any replacement requirements that crop up.  Yet age catches up with even these top performers, as does wear and tear, as the kilometre count rises towards a million.  At this point the domestic buyer has little use for the vehicle and an export market will need to be found. Although this is not proving to be too difficult at present the prices buyers are willing to pay for older stock is moving ever lower.