Buyers choosing carefully

Time 8:09 am, August 2, 2012

THE used market is stable, but quiet at the moment and both buyers and sellers are having to be very careful about pricing vehicles.

That’s the view of Shoreham Vehicle Auctions’ MD, Alex Wright who believes supply is currently low, but it’s being equally balanced by a low demand, which means prices are remaining constant.

However, there is still a healthy demand for quality older stock, from reliable sources with a good service history, lower mileage and little damage.

Buyers are not the only ones struggling to find vehicles, as due to lower footfall on the forecourts, dealers are also reporting lower sales than this time last year.

The only time when demand falters is when the market experiences a large amount of duplication of the same stock. These vendors are offering the same vehicles in auction houses throughout the country in an effort to find buyers.

Anything with a rarity factor is doing well, such as 17 seat Ford Transit minibuses. These are making up to £600 or £700 over book. Mercedes Sprinters are also doing well, with some selling for almost 20 per cent above CAP.

Both supply and demand may be low, but if September picks up like it does historically, there will be a shortage of vehicles. Supply is not likely to pick up, which means prices will start to increase, putting traders and retailers in the age old dilemma of having to pay more money for vehicles, without any guarantee they are going to sell quickly.

Shoreham is finding that as long as you talk to your vendors and give them realistic expectations, vehicles are selling. Wright says buyers need as much information as possible before making a decision, so they can work their limited cashflow to its full potential.

James Batchelor's avatar

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer. In October 2021 he became Car Dealer's associate editor.

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