Motor Industry News
MyCarCheck.com top tips for used van buyers February 2014:
Transit chassis, Lutons & Crafter praised as strong demand continues
MyCarCheck.com - the UK’s No.1 consumer vehicle data provider - has saved millions of people from making an expensive used car mistake. In these monthly bulletins its light commercial vehicle (LCV) expert reveals significant trends in the UK market and suggests three wise buys.
- Highly desirable: Ford Transit chassis models
- Safe bet: Luton models (all makes)
- Used star: VW Crafter
MyCarCheck.com’s LCV expert, David Hill, commented: “The first thing a lot of chassis buyers say to a dealer is ‘I want a Transit’. Due to the downturn in the economy, which hit the building sector, there wasn’t demand for new chassis models for a good few years. Now, in 2014, that lack of production is reflected in the used market, with tipper and dropside models in very short supply. Further still, the new ‘type approval’ rules mean you can no longer get any old handyman to put a body on the back of your builder’s truck. Consumers will have to pay all the money for a desirable chassis model in good condition and a Ford Transit will often be top of the wish list. So long as you carry out a history check to ensure the one you’re looking at is what it claims to be – for instance, that it hasn’t been clocked and isn’t still on finance – this is an LCV worth paying a premium for.
“In terms of vans that hold their value, safe bets don’t come much safer than Luton models with reasonable mileage. The only caveat is the bodies have to be at least 12ft long– anything smaller and retail buyers go for a van for less money and get better fuel consumption. Models where the box comes over the top of the cab are very popular with haulage firms and removal companies. It is therefore not unusual to see them with 250,000 miles on the clock. Perhaps more than in any other sector, it is always worth checking to make sure the Luton you’re looking at hasn’t been clocked or written off, especially when buying privately.
“For our ‘used star’ this month I’ve chosen the practical and affordable
VW Crafter. Although it doesn’t share the ‘run forever’ reputation of its sister, the Sprinter, the Crafter is a very decent vehicle. A 3 year-old example will give a massive saving on the new price and it is worth shopping around to get a really good spec one. When it comes to negotiating on price, remember, as well as revealing a vehicle’s history, MyCarCheck.com also provides vehicle valuations – a great tool for haggling with dealers or private sellers.”
As to market trends, Hill commented: “The LCV market was up to speed from the first day back in January, and just kept on going. This immediate return to brisk business was even faster than anticipated, and we see it continuing well into March. Prices will stay strong as the trade is desperate for clean stock.
“Caution must be the watchword for traders as the slightest bit of volume from one manufacturer can lead to a sizeable price slip. We witnessed this recently at a sale with a dozen new shape Vauxhall Combos. The prices were 30% down on guide values and only the lower mileage ones stirred any interest.
“In general, small vans are still OK. There are some Ford Fiesta vans around which are finding homes at the first time of asking, and the trade is happy to pay trade money for them. Anything with some specification is straight up to ready to retail value. Vauxhall Astra van values are still slipping as the model looks a little dated compared to other marques.
“Ford Transit Connect values remain steady as the retail market is keen on them – it is usually the case that a new model creates interest in the outgoing model. Volkswagen Caddy values are steady again now that the rush of stock has subsided, but 69PS models are still a problem as the retail man is not interested, almost regardless of price.
“Vauxhall Combo new and old models are around in some volume and there are a few nice 10-plate Vauxhall Vivaros around too. Mercedes Benz Vito is having mixed fortunes with the trade very particular as to what model and mileage they select. Later ones are struggling a little, especially with no extras on them. Volkswagen Transporter values remain manic due to sky-high demand.
“Ford Transit long wheelbase 350s are still in short supply. These always have the trade fighting to buy them as retail demand is good. Renault Master and Vauxhall Movano make good retail stock, something a bit different on the forecourt.
“As to chassis variants, demand for tippers should grow as we move towards spring, but they have to be tidy. The same goes for dropsides, but be careful on mileage as we’ve seen some with very high miles on them.
“The 4x4 market is busy, as it should be at this time of year, with Mitsubishi L200 a solid favourite. The nice specification and mileage ones make really good money and the rest just go with the flow. There’s plenty of retail interest in Isuzu Rodeo too.”
Over the last couple of years, MyCarCheck.com, MyMotorCycleCheck.com and MyTextCheck delivered around 4.5m consumer checks including those via AutoExpress and WhatCar?.
We use up-to-the-minute data from the Police National Computer (PNC), the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and major finance houses including Lloyds TSB and Santander.
Our information is trusted by the UK's leading brands. MyCarCheck.com’s parent company, CDL Vehicle Information Services, performs around two million look-ups a week for companies including CompareTheMarket, Confused.com, Go-Compare, Moneysupermarket, Swiftcover and Tesco Compare.
To help UK consumers make the right choice, MyCarCheck.com can confirm in seconds whether your potential pride and joy has ever been scrapped, stolen or written-off, has any money owing on it, has had a plate or colour change and much more.
Know what you’re getting into: MyCarCheck.com