Latest News

22 Aug 2014 top tips for used van buyers August 2014 - the UK's No.1 consumer vehicle data provider - has saved millions of people from making an expensive used car mistake. In these monthly bulletins its light commercial vehicle (LCV) expert reveals significant trends in the UK market and suggests three wise buys.


  • Highly desirable: Mercedes Sprinter 313 long wheelbase high roof
  • Safe bet: Ford Transit in white
  • Used star: Ford Transit 350 Jumbo (in green and yellow)'s LCV expert, David Hill, commented: "August is a quiet month for the LCV trade so if you're looking for a van then now is the time to buy. Our highly desirable model this month is the Mercedes Sprinter 313 long wheelbase high roof. Top of many people's shopping list, these are expensive to buy but they generally hold their value as they get older. The key is to do your homework and check the history.


"In terms of vans that hold their value, safe bets don't come much safer than a Ford Transit in white. If you can find a nice one then buy it now as we expect prices to rocket during the autumn as businesses gear up for Christmas. As always, it is worth checking to make sure the one you're looking at hasn't been clocked or written off, especially when buying privately.


"For our 'used star' this month we've gone for something very specific, the Ford Transit 350 Jumbo in green and yellow. There are a few of these in the market at the moment from a parcel delivery network. Choose carefully as some might have damage but they tend to be low mileage. Because they're not the best colour, they offer a massive saving on a white one. When it comes to negotiating, remember, as well as revealing a van's history, also provides vehicle valuations - a great tool for haggling with dealers or private sellers."


As to market trends, Hill commented: "July sales faded mid-month. Traders continue to search for those elusive bargains, but many of the disposal people are away on holiday. We don't expect the market to pick up until the schools go back and even then it will probably build up slowly. By mid-September it will be busy again.


"Supply is short when it comes to small vans. Since the few Peugeot 207s around were snapped up there has been little else to fill those empty spaces.


"In terms of car derived vans, Ford Transit Connect is still selling well. If straight, mileage doesn't look to be a problem with these. Volkswagen Caddy on the other hand is struggling a little. Even some 140bhp models in white aren't achieving average values, while 60bhp models are really off the pace - buyers just aren't interested in them. Some new-shape Renault Kangoos are entering the marketplace and we are monitoring these values closely. The first ones haven't made much of a premium on the outgoing models.


"In the larger van sector, Citroen Dispatch still has the biggest volume and Vauxhall Vivaro is still good value. In recent weeks we have seen some of the last media vans and the running out of the Ford Transit 280 medium roofs. Also gone for a while are the orange Ford Transits from the roadside recovery company. Rest assured though, replacements for all these vehicles are on their way.


"Larger panel van sales have been hit by the seasonal slowdown. We have a few long wheelbase Mercedes Sprinters in the marketplace - the clean ones will go first time but the ones that need work are struggling. The same can be said for its stable mate, the VW Crafter - a few in the market that were high mileage but straight all sold at trade values. We've also seen some refurbished Fiat Ducato vans achieving between trade and average values, depending on mileage.


"The 4x4 market has steadied now, although there's still a little bit of export on some older Toyota Hi Lux that is distorting the picture. On the whole, this is the one sector of the market where you could really grab a bargain."'s parent company, CDL Vehicle Information Services, performs over a million look-ups a day for companies including AutoExpress, CompareTheMarket,, Go-Compare, Moneysupermarket, Swiftcover, Tesco Compare and WhatCar?.


It uses up-to-the-minute data from the Police (NPIA - previously known as the Police National Computer or PNC), the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and major finance houses including Lloyds TSB and Santander.


To help UK consumers make the right choice, can confirm in seconds whether your potential pride and joy has ever been scrapped, stolen or written-off, has any money owing on it, has had a plate or colour change and much more.


Know what you're getting into: