• 13-month old VW Transporters make up to £1,400 more than book based on the right specification
  • Metallic paint, air conditioning and reversing sensors can help add value at sale time
  • Have your used vehicle buyer in mind when speccing up your new vehicles

A recent sale at Shoreham Vehicle Auctions reinforced the importance of speccing a vehicle correctly from the outset to maximise future residual values.

alex-wrightShoreham disposed of seven Volkwagen Transporter 102 TDi SWB vans on behalf of Dorset based rental company U-Drive that were all 13 months old on a 60-plate with between 13,100 and 28,100 miles on the clock.

All seven vans blew CAP Red Book residual values out of the water with two making 113.5% of book, equivalent to an extra £1,400 on the price tag, just because the canny owner U-Drive focussed on the future buyer’s needs when it specced the vehicles from new.

All vehicles were finished with metallic paint, reversing sensors, air conditioning and the VW Appearance Pack that includes body-coloured bumpers (from the Caravelle people carrier or Sportline models), plus electrically adjustable, folding and heated body-coloured door mirrors, and electric front windows.

“The late-low mileage used market can fluctuate based on what is happening with the new vehicle market, that is unless you do your homework and spec up the vans with the next owner’s needs in mind,” explained Alex Wright, managing director of Shoreham Vehicle Auctions.

“Whether you are selling cars or vans you are then more in control of your own destiny and vendors like U-Drive deserve to maximise their residual values because they know their future buyer base.”

All seven vans were bought by main dealers, specialist independent Transporter retailers and camper converters.

Mark Hamblin fleet sales and purchasing manager of U-Drive said: “The majority of our vans we keep for three years, but these tend to be white Transits with a more basic specification. Because of the strong following of the VW Transporter in the used market there is a huge demand for 12 month old vehicles.

“Despite them costing more to buy and spec, the strong residual value means they cost no more to run or to hire. We run 75 Transporters at any one time across our 16 sites and the customers who rent them love them. We have another 30 11-plate Transporters coming up for sale in March 2012 and we anticipate a strong demand from the trade,” he added.

“Obviously we have to be very mindful that the vans we buy are workhorses and they could be hired and driven by up to 100 separate people over a 12 month period. But ultimately we must safeguard the value of our fleet – get the spec right like we aim to do and you can generate a strong return on your original investment, get it wrong and you could end up losing £1,000 on every vehicle you sell. On a fleet of a few hundred vehicles that could bankrupt you.

“We used Shoreham as our disposal channel because Alex and his team know the light commercial vehicle market very well and have built up a strong buyer base. Their pre-sale online representation of your vehicle with detailed descriptions and photos helps further build interest in your stock,” he added.

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