By Andy Picton, chief commercial vehicle editor at Glass's
December’s new LCV market returned to growth following three months of decline growing 7.8% with only the pickup sector failing to grow.
Overall, 27,551 new vehicles were registered in December and rounded off a solid annual performance, finishing 2.4% up on 2018.
Breaking the month down by sectors reveals growth of 7.7%, 39.2% and 4.2% for Vans under 2.0 tonnes, Vans between 2.0-2.5 tonnes and Vans between 2.5-3.5 tonnes respectively, whilst Pickup registrations fell by 1.2%.
Top five LCV registrations
For the full year, the sectors produced growth of 4.4%, 10.5% and 1.2% for Vans under 2.0 tonnes.
Vans between 2.0-2.5 tonnes and Vans between 2.5-3.5 tonnes respectively, whilst Pickup registrations fell by 1.0% on 2018 levels.
The LCV market finished 2.4% ahead of 2018, with registrations of 365,778 (357,325 – 2018).
This was the third highest total on record and despite the political and economic uncertainty, buyers continued to seek the best new vehicle deals to support their businesses.
Used Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) Auction Market Overview
The final month of 2019 saw wholesale market sales decline 20.0% versus November.
Driven by a lack of quality used vendor stock, all sectors recorded decreased sales over the previous month.
December sales are on average 8.4 months older than twelve months ago, at 74.1 months but 3.1 months younger than last month.
Average first-time conversion rates over the last 12 months improved 4.9% to 82.0%.
In December, average mileage stands at 77,445 miles, a reduction of over 5,400 miles on November and 3,100 on December 2018.
With the reduction in mileage and vehicle age, the average sale price for the month increased by over £550.
December’s average sale price was less than £100 lower than at the same point last year.
Small Vans: 29.9% of overall sales
Demand for vehicles in this sector reduced again in December, with the average sale price down over £150 on November.
Berlingo, Transit Connect, Caddy, Combo have performed positively, with older stock such as the Astravan, Corsavan, Clio van, and Doblo van all holding their value during the month.
The average mileage of small vans sold in December fell by over 3,250 miles, whilst first time conversion rates decreased 5.8% to 81.9%.
Medium Vans: 41.0% of overall sales
This popular sector saw sales fall by over 500 units, but returned a £100 increase in the average sales price.
Good levels of demand remain for Transit Custom, Trafic, and Vivaro, with premium brands such as the Transporter and Vito continuing to benefit from a loyal following.
December was another strong month for the tidiest crew vans, with the best continuing to sell well.
The average mileage of those medium vans sold in December decreased by over 3,725 miles whilst first time conversion rates remained virtually static at 83.2%.
Large Vans: 17.0% of overall sales
This sector saw sales decrease 53% in December however, average sales prices increased by £67.
Across this sector, there was demand for anything straight and tidy or sensibly priced, with the Transit and Sprinter proving particularly popular.
Late plate Relay and Boxer were also popular choices, whilst buyers working to smaller budgets opted for older Crafter, Ducato and Master.
The average mileage of large vans sold in December decreased by over 3,500 miles with first time conversion rates increasing by 2.4% to 85.5%.
4x4 Sector: 12.1% of overall sales
Sales of 4x4 Pickups dropped by over 40% in December, whilst average prices remained just over £9,000 and on a par with November prices.
Higher spec L200, Navara, and Ranger models continue to attract buyers, with those fitted with automatic transmissions in greatest demand. Older 4x4s caught the imagination and sold with ease, especially to those working to tighter budgets.
The Fiat Fullback continues to struggle, whilst higher spec Defender models performed well.
Average mileage of those 4x4s sold increased by nearly 3,950 miles during December with first time conversion rates reducing by 4.4% to 73.4% (77.8% - November).