Van, Truck, Trailer, Bus and Coach Aftermarket News in Ireland

Glass’s UK Commercial Market Trend – June 2013

Data and intelligence provider Glass’s has launched its new dedicated business website, The site replaces In the following article, their expert Commercial Vehicle editor gives their insight on the market trends of June 2013 in the commercial vehicle sector.


The total number of commercial vehicles registered in April grew strongly by nearly 31%. However, within what was undoubtedly an encouraging overall figure, a 12% fall in truck registrations was especially disappointing. The YTD position for vehicles above 6 tonnes now stands more than 15% below the comparable position last year which few commentators would have predicted. For lightweights, YTD registrations are up by a welcome 17.5% since the start of the year.

Used lightweights

A mixed picture has emerged from the retail market where dealers’ reports range from ‘it’s slow’ to, ‘we are having it away’. However, most would agree that prime stock is difficult to source and that their margins are being squeezed due to the high prices they must pay.

With the volume of LCVs on offer having dwindled, quality used stock at all years remains in high demand. Small CDVs such as Fiestavan and Corsavan are especially thin on the ground and any clean and tidy example that does materialise will readily sell to Guide.

Currently, many non-franchised dealers are as busy with lower budget vans as they are with late year stock. Advertising on the internet helps even the smallest of these enterprises to present themselves in a professional manner, nationally, which helps them to maximise returns.

At latest year, Nemo, Doblo, Kangoo and Nissan’s NV200 have not been performing to their previous bests, whilst Berlingo and Partner are proving to be good news. At earlier years, there are still plenty of takers for low mileage Kangoo, Doblo, Berlingo and Partner models.

Demand for late plate Astra Sportives has remained firm with early models also attracting keen business. With previous shape Combos being widely acknowledged by end-users as representing good value for money, trade buyers are eager to snap up all good examples; any crewcab variants of such models are highly prized.

At auction, there is a reasonable mix of used stock to choose from, although the numbers of low mileage, late year lots from rental companies are rising and these are not proving to be overly popular.

Of late, relatively small numbers of the previous shape Caddy have become available and as a consequence, all clean examples will achieve Guide values with ease. However, there are already uncomfortable volumes of Caddy Maxis doing the rounds and their ranks are set to swell over the slow months of summer. This wave of ex-utility vans will test both the market’s appetite for such high numbers of a single product and the wholesale chain’s ability to rise to the challenge.

With fewer Connects to be seen at auction, all clean examples are achieving Guide values. In particular, late year models are highly prized, attracting a great deal of interest from online bidders.

Used 4x4s

With summer now upon us, 4x4s have continued to lose market traction and as a direct result prices have fallen. With the volume of double cabbed 4x4s overwhelming demand, buyers will sift out the best of the bunch, yet still expect to ‘buy cheap’.

Although numbers have reduced, there are still too many 4×4 double cab pick-ups on offer for the market to absorb. Most of what is on offer are late year Mitsubishi, Nissan and Toyota models, with few achieving strong prices.

Demand for the L200 Barbarian is especially patchy and even where condition, age and mileage would point towards a price to Top Guide, bids will typically be closer to Trade.

Despite the seasonal turndown, Land Rover’s Defender still enjoys a loyal trade following that continues to hunt down the best used stock; this has helped to support price levels.

Used panel vans

Demand for medium vans is currently high with the cleanest stock at all ages enjoying plenty of auction action from both dealers and end-users. Models such as current shape Scudo, remain popular with Guide values being paid for those lots with warranted mileage. Similarly, old shape Dispatch and Expert types are also selling strongly.

With the volumes of Vivaros and Trafics coming into market decreasing over the months of spring, the market sentiment directed towards them has held steady with prices remaining firm. From late year LWB Trafics to early plate SWB Vivaros/Primastars, there’s always plenty of demand for these models.

Volkswagen’s Transporter continues to lead the field, although, when too many are offered at any venue, trade buyers become picky with only the best commanding strong prices. Overall, there is a belief that the quality of T5 stock is not as good as was to be seen in the past and on occasion, this has led to some localised price weakness.

Over the past couple of months fewer Transit 260/280 SWBs have been appearing at auction, which has ensured that prices for the nicest examples of models such as 85PS medium roof vans have peppered Guide Trade. Late plated T280.100 low roof vans with low warranted mileage are especially popular and attract a premium price.

Throughout 2013, despite only small numbers of Vito being de-fleeted through auctions, only the best examples sell to Guide Trade with the worst often struggling to attract sensible bids.

When presented in clean condition, larger vans up to 3.5 tonnes are attracting positive market sentiment, but that said there aren’t many on offer in prime condition. Accordingly, although there are more Transit T350s up for grabs, unfortunately few sell to Guide Trade, with the majority achieving bids a little above Glass Disposal.

Ducato, Boxer, Relay and Daily models are becoming an increasingly common sight at auction with trade buyers slowly warming to their undoubted merits. Yet disappointingly, the prices paid, even for exceptionally clean vans, will at best be to Guide Trade.

A significant proportion of the 3.5 tonners coming onto the used marketplace, typically Sprinters, Transits and Crafters, have now covered in excess of 100k miles. Encouragingly, and despite the vast majority of these having bodywork damage, they are still finding new homes without too much difficulty.

With numbers low, messing-vans and cherry-picker derivatives continue to attract a high level of trade interest. 3.5 tonne tippers and dropsiders are also keenly contested, whilst the prices paid for well-maintained box and Luton bodied chassis are holding firm.

Used trucks

Dealers are reporting that it has become very difficult to locate good, late year stock, and what is to be found will inevitably command high prices. For many, this has hit their retail businesses hard, yet thanks to export demand having held steady, this side of the business now accounts for a larger proportion of their overall used sales.

At auction, it’s become noticeable that there are far more provisional bids being called and it appears to be taking the average lot longer to pass through the hall. Probably, with such limited supply, vendors are setting their reserve prices sky high, which not only hinders the process but will often result in a lower sales price.

Over most of this year, significant differences in the recorded kilometres (unless excessive) are having surprisingly little effect on the prices paid for otherwise similar chassis.

With the supply of sleeper cabbed rigid chassis trailing demand by a wide margin, the sizeable premiums that will be paid for any such box or curtainsider has increased considerably.

From 7.5 to 32 tonnes, demand for all tidy skiploaders and tippers has held firm, with buyers being especially keen to source any multi-axle chassis equipped with lifting gear, and regularly willing to pay eye-watering prices for the privilege.

Perhaps to a greater extent than other sectors, the market for tractor units is largely driven by the shortfall in supply at late year. All Euro 5 models are highly prized, yet the availability of even mediocre examples remains severely restricted.

Both 6×2 and 4×2 Actros and Axor maintain a strong following, even those artics that are presented in a lesser condition will perform well. Demand for smaller, distribution artics is also brisk, which results in all sound used stock making firm money.

Good used semi-trailers are still thin on the ground, and with the exception of box trailers, which are rarely in good condition when de-fleeted, prices remain firm. Across auction sites, platforms, curtainsiders and refrigerated boxes are each doing the business.

Used motorcaravans

Dealers have seen a marked improvement in used sales over the past few weeks with many citing better weather as a key factor. Encouragingly, there have also been reports of an increase in first-time motorcaravaners entering the market.

The uplift in first-time buyers has resulted in a reduced number of trade-ins arriving on forecourts, which has limited some dealers’ offerings. This is resulting in a marked increase in efforts to acquire stock, ensuring a full forecourt is maintained, during the peak buying season.

Majority of values have been held for this edition, with a small reduction on large tag-axle motorhomes (over 6 years old) that continue to struggle.

Award winners again

As an aside Glass’s has scooped the prestigious UK Used Car Valuations Provider of the Year award at the annual Car Dealer Power Awards.