Monthly News, January

Used Market Place Trade Talk

January started out very well indeed this year, with trading right from the word go.

This is unusual as the trade normally take about 3 weeks to normalise their buying patterns and get back to market. But talking to some traders it appears that the retail forecourts have been very busy over the Christmas break this year, which is good news in terms of the overall recovery of our economy.

Red Peugeot

This busy retail market is producing some fresh demand at auction and on line, from dealers that now have a shortage of stock to sell.

This is more prevalent in the LCV market, as there remains a shortage of stock at market. Thus even damaged stock is selling here as traders become ever more desperate to fill their forecourts with direct from fleet stock.

Close up of vans

And that’s the key, direct from fleet. Anything that is from a private source, or small business, is not really selling that well, but stock direct from fleet especially own accounts such as Corporate’s, is making very strong money indeed.

The car market is slightly different, in so far that there remains very good trade, but there equally remains large volumes of stock at auction to sell. In the first week of January, BCA Blackbushe had on offer nearly 3000 cars; it doesn’t take long at those rates to satisfy demand!

Specification is again becoming really important, on both cars and vans. For cars, they must now have some form of air conditioning and, to be fair apart from the really basic versions, they all do.

But beware when specifying small, cheap cars for, typically pool car use; these do come without air conditioning and will be very hard to sell on the used markets.

Sat navStrangely, in built sat nav systems are beginning to become unpopular, as buyers shy away from potentially very expensive replacements systems on older cars (typically media is not covered on any warranty).

This has not yet affected sale prices of cars with in built systems but, equally their prices are no longer enhanced by such fitment. But generally, the usual culprits help sell a car, nice wide wheels, leather trim, body spoilers and decent colours.

For LCV’s, it is the all-important side load door that has come back to haunt the market, as many new smaller vans (such as Bipper) do not come as standard with the side door. Those vans without are struggling to find buyers at the moment as pretty much any retail buyer will want this option. So again if specifying from new, ensure all vans come with side load doors, even if they are not used or needed!

Striped ford vanA sport van of some description is also becoming really desirable, such as Ford’s Transit Sportvan, which is in great demand.

This demonstrates the desire for ‘lifestyle’ vans from retail customers, which is becoming more and more common. Anything with remotely ‘lifestyle’ features always sells well at market.
In general terms the markets have settled into a very good month after the Christmas break, and we expect to see this demand continue right through to Easter. The car market will suffer more than the LCV’s, but even here as long as the cars are in nice condition they will sell. 2015 looks set fair!!

Dave Woods
January 2015