Used-car and LCV market round-up – VIP Data
Typically a new year brings a breath of fresh air in the motor trade. The start of 2012 has brought a lot of retail buyers out in search of their next car. Smart traders were using the festive season to stock up while prices were low, ready for New Year when trade usually picks up. Dealers have really benefitted and sold the freshly gathered stock, experiencing a quick turn around and good profit margins. February usually sees this increased activity die off, but why?
There is plenty of activity in the auction halls, with lots to choose from, but plenty of the offerings are substandard. A dwindling number of cars that require no preparation are the ones in demand and values are strong. Independent traders don’t suffer from the distractions of the new registration. Whilst concentrating on re stocking their empty forecourts, they are paying high prices for the relatively small number of Ready to Retail cars out there. Some buyers are trying to avoid the inflated prices by buying a car with a fault and taking a risk with it. An engine management light or a damaged wing could spell trouble. On the other hand it could be the way to make a serious profit with a quick fix.
Once again Fiesta was the UKs best-selling car last year. It’s still a favourite in the used market too. Along with Corsa and its other competitors any forecourt will benefit from a quick turn around and a quick profit. As long as it’s Ready to Retail and low mileage. Ex daily rental cars are still a safe bet.
You would think that image and snobbery would be taking a back seat in these times of austerity? Not with the great British used car buying public. Even if we are struggling financially, we are not prepared to show this to the neighbours! The prestige side of mid and large cars such as 3 and 5 series and A4 and A6 are currently enjoying renewed success as a used car. They must be the right colour, specification and have a full dealer service history to make top money though. A Mondeo or Insignia isn’t creating such interest even when no preparation is needed.
Whilst the weather has so far been very friendly to us all in terms of how mild it has been, it has by no means been friendly to many people’s wallets. Because we have had a couple of bad winters many of us rushed out and bought 4×4 vehicles on the run up to the end of last year. Other’s bought expensive winter tyres and wheels that will probably end up cluttering garage space for the rest of the year. We already have been given the vibes that there will be many 4×4 vehicles on the market when spring time arrives, once people realise that they can be very expensive to run, and not just with high fuel consumption, but also with much higher maintenance costs. Watch values take a hit as a consequence.
Range Rover Evoque has definitely been the car to buy over the last few months. They are still making a premium over list price and the wait for a factory order of a few months is set to keep used values soaring. Q5 is Range Rovers closest competitor as a used 4×4 although not making the same premium over list.
This month values remain fairly static throughout most of the sectors, exceptions are the ultra desirables such as Audi Q3/Q5, BMW X3, RR Sport and Evoque, all up slightly. Audi A3 TDi, BMW 3 series diesels and Golf Tdi are all doing well hence values are up. Down are the usual raft of undesirables such as old generation Citroen C5, Peugeot 406/407, Renault Laguna and most of the old school Kia / Hyundai or anything that is expensive to tax.
Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV)
January was better than expected and with plenty of stock available. Some auction sites had more private buyers than trade buyers at some sales as the scramble to avoid paying to drive to work in London became more common. February should see the market settle back into its regular pattern.
Some manufacturers are showing a keen interest in developing their own dealer network. This is putting added pressure on privately owned dealers who are having to focus on parts/service and primarily used van sales to return a healthy profit. With used sales margins being squeezed because the used retail buyer is more informed than ever when it comes to purchasing his next van, and with the parts and workshop taking a cut it doesn’t leave a lot for the used sales department’s profit margin.
Vans such as Fiesta, 206 and Corsa are still in short supply. Citroën Berlingo and Peugeot Partners must have a side loading door. Trade values have slipped by 2% this month. Short wheelbase Ford Transit Connect is less popular and the Long wheelbase model has to be 90 bhp or more to get any interest but all Trade values on all Connect down 10% this month. Fiat Doblo and Renault Kangoo staying steady but that’s due to the limited amount of stock in the market.
Short wheelbase Transit auction values are extremely erratic, but they are certain to settle down and we have left values untouched this month. Older Transporter models find homes at Trade to Average money and mileage doesn’t look to be a problem providing the van is tidy. We have dropped values 2% this month, newer models are down 3%. Renault Traffic vans are still good news and the Sport Crew van is making at least Ready to Retail money so we have increased values this month to reflect.
Larger panel vans need to be tidy to get some interest. Traders then start to look closely at them. Anything scruffy needs to be cheap. Sprinter and Transit are still good news. VW Crafter is sort after but must have full history if the mileage is high. LDV Convoy Bus values are up £250 as we have seen a few sold this month with plenty of interest. Luton, Tipper and Dropside from any manufacturer are good news. 4×4 values are on the up. Plenty of Mitsubishi L200 Double cabs are available and finding buyers.