Brexit and next month’s introduction of the London Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) are showing signs of unsettling the UK used market.
That’s according to Shoreham Vehicle Auctions (SVA), which says that the general level of prices and demand remains high, but businesses seem to be more cautious. As a result, they’re buying cheaper vans rather than taking out a loan or using their own cash to buy a more expensive van, which is affecting buying patterns of dealers with the specialist higher-cost stock such as tippers and models currently in high supply such as Ford Transit Customs and VW Caddys in demand one week and tough to sell the next.
Two pictures are also emerging: one of operators who work in and around London and are future-proofing their fleets prior to the April ULEZ launch while companies whose vehicles don’t visit London are investing in Euro 5 vans as they provide excellent value as major rental fleets continue their de-fleet process.
“Many smaller companies who buy the majority of used vans are currently investing £4-8,000 in a used van rather than £10-15,000 with Brexit still hanging over the economy,” explained Tim Spencer, SVA’s commercial vehicle sales manager.
“Used LCV prices haven’t fallen dramatically and there is no sign the market is going to see a major downturn, but we are aware of a definite change in buying habits and confidence caused by Brexit and ULEZ,” he added.
A recent batch of two-year-old tippers struggled to sell at Shoreham one week and made above their £15,000 book value the next. The same with a batch of ex-utility 63 and 65-plate VW Caddys, while a handful of 10-year old ex-council and ex-fire brigade Ford Transits made 50% above book based on their excellent condition and full-service history.