Motor Industry News
My Car Check top tips for used van buyers April 2015: Sprinter, Master and Transit 350 praised as great options for nearly new bargain hunters
My Car Check - 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 – this month, nearly new vans.
- Highly desirable: Mercedes Benz Sprinter
- Safe bet: Renault Master
- Used star: Ford Transit 350
My Car Check’s LCV expert, David Hill, commented: “Our highly desirable model this month is the Mercedes Benz Sprinter. This is the van most buyers would like, but it is also the most expensive. The good news is well maintained Sprinters remain desirable with strong residual values almost regardless of age. When looking at any newish second-hand vehicle, it is worth checking that it is free of debt, i.e. that it actually belongs to the seller and not a finance company.
“In terms of LCVs that hold their value, safe bets don’t come much safer than the new model Renault Master, preferably the Business Plus model with satellite navigation and air-conditioning fitted as standard. As always, check to make sure the one you’re looking at is what it claims to be, especially when buying privately.
“For our ‘used star’ this month, we’ve gone for the all new Ford Transit 350. A fresh face in the van market with the appeal of Ford reliability, there are some 14-plate (2014) models in the market at around £10,000 less than the list price of a new one. When it comes to negotiating, remember, as well as revealing a van’s history, My Car Check also provides vehicle valuations – a great tool for haggling with dealers or private sellers.”
As to market trends, Hill commented: “There is currently a great choice of stock in the used van market, as well as some great deals on new ones. To save even more money it is often worth looking at nearly new vans. With the retail market slowing down, now is a good time to pick up a van at a reasonable price – there are some bargains out there. For the very best value, look for vans that the manufacturer is replacing with a new model.
“February's National Association of Motor Auctions (NAMA) report tells us that volume into the market was up by 23%. The average trade selling price decreased by 2% and the average mileage of vehicles offered dropped slightly.
“We’ve all been waiting for some volume but with the registration plate part exchanges we’ve suddenly got more stock than we’ve had for quite some time. Most auction sites are awash with stock being prepared for sale, and the stock seems to be more or less the same across the country.
“Small vans are plentiful with blue and white Vauxhall Corsa vans available in the marketplace again, along with the ever popular Ford Fiesta. We also now have Ford Transit Courier appearing and selling well, as a new model should do.
“Citroën Nemo and its sister vans are about in numbers. There are a few Citroën Berlingo and Peugeot Partner vans around again – those in good colours with extra specification sell first, but there are plenty of run of the mill ones about too. Fiat Doblo is around in numbers and they sell well. An old model Vauxhall Combo can still be great news if it’s tidy and in a good colour.
“You can take your pick of panel vans right now. Ford Transit short wheelbase models are about in all variants, colours and roof heights. The ones from the media company are very much in demand – they’re about the only van the trade will fight over at present. Ford Transit Custom is available and any of the Citroën Relay / Fiat Ducato variants should sell well as an alternative to a Transit.
“In the larger panel van sector, there’s a batch of Volkswagen Crafter flat roof vans coming into the market – they’re mainly good on miles, so condition is key. There’s also some new model Ford Transit 350s, mostly 12-month-old examples. We still have some yellow Ford Transit Jumbos in the market – they sell well for what they are and we don’t feel they have any wider impact on the sector.
“Chassis derivatives are still in short supply and the trade will bid good money for anything different. If they have six or seven of the same vehicle to choose from, it will only deflate the prices.
“The 4x4 market is still slow with a good choice available at most sales around the country. The Volkswagen Amarok remains the star performer in this sector.”
MyCarCheck.com’s parent company, CDL Vehicle Information Services, performs over a million look-ups a day for companies including AutoExpress, CompareTheMarket, Confused.com, Go-Compare, Moneysupermarket, Swiftcover, Tesco Compare and WhatCar?.
It uses up-to-the-minute data from the Police, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and major finance houses including Lloyds TSB and Santander.
To help UK consumers make the right choice, My Car Check 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