The used van market may be unstable, but it has potential says MD of Shoreham Vehicle Auctions

  • September is predicted to be a historically strong month for sales
  • Three to five year old lower priced utility vehicles are selling well
  • Vendors creating a good following for their vehicles will continue to have success, as buyers seek vehicles from reliable sources

The used van market has plateaued a bit since the market dipped in the April bank holidays, so the major question on everyone’s mind now is, has the market lost its edge? There is speculation about whether the current trend will last until September.

Bank holidays are notorious for turning the market, but Alex Wright, MD of Shoreham Vehicle Auctions believes the market will do well through the summer, and says that buyers and sellers alike can look forward to September, predicting a historically strong month for used vehicle sales.

But the question is what will happen until then? Opinions on the market vary from person to person, but Alex says the market is what you make of it.

With the commercial vehicle market largely made up of small businesses and self employed individuals, any commercial vehicle over four years old and competitively priced is selling well. SMEs and the self employed are doing all they can to avoid taking out finance, so those three, four and five year old lower priced utility vehicles that don’t require a large capital outlay are selling well and will continue to do so throughout the summer.

Any vehicle with a rarity value and intermittent supply is making very good money and will continue to do so through June, July and August, predicts Alex. An example of such a vehicle is the Nissan Cabstar Tipper. With a CAP average of £3,550, these vehicles have recently been selling for up to £5,000.

On the other hand, sales of younger nearly new vehicles in the £8-15,000 bracket are patchy. These vehicles generally require finance, and with few in the market able to afford the higher price tags, sales are sporadic. With the myriad of new vehicle deals set to continue this will put further pressure on prices of the nearly new stock.

Shoreham has noticed that sellers trying to shift blocks of the same vehicles, are also suffering from reduced conversion rates. With a restricted cash flow, dealers are not keeping large stocks of the more expensive vehicles, but are buying as and when they need them, rather than bulk buying.

Alex says those vendors who have created a good following for their vehicles will continue to have success, as buyers are seeking vehicles from a source they know and trust. Sellers should, however, be aware that buyers will be very picky, so setting a sensible reserve is going to be key to achieving a first time sale.

Shoreham works hard to support dealers, by giving them comprehensive and accurate information on every vehicle going through its sales halls. This equips dealers to make quicker and more considered decisions on what vehicles to buy and at what price.


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