How to pick up a bargain Euro-5 DAF truck

Why are Euro-5 DAF's going for a song?

DAF Trucks has dominated the UK market for more than 20 years, and more recently (2016 and 2017) has held approximately 30% of the market share for trucks above 6 tonnes.

Its strengths lie in the strong performance of its rigid vehicle sales, but tractor unit registrations, particularly during the latter stages of Euro-5, were encouraging too. As a result, the brand has a strong used market presence with vast numbers of DAF LF, CF and XFs available.

Understandably, the quality of each vehicle varies and is heavily dependent on the nature of the work it undertook in its first life and the maintenance it was given, but on the whole the Euro-5 DAF products were well regarded, well liked and always popular in the new and second-hand markets.

Demand for Euro-5 trucks is reaching a tipping point, with even the youngest stock now coming up to five years old. For many UK operators that means all Euro-5 units have reached the end of their useful life. However, if you’re willing to run the truck for a little while longer there is a considerable saving to be had over buying a Euro-6 vehicle.

> Why are Euro-5 truck prices so low?

According to DAF, the market for Euro-5s is largely in exports, but this means if you’re still looking to buy in the UK you can potentially pay rock-bottom prices before they head out of the country.

Paul Young, regional asset manager for PACCAR Financial explains: “Anything Euro-5 we’re getting is going away [to export] but anything decent and Euro-6 is staying. There was a time when it was almost two-for-one for a Euro-5 tractor unit compared with a Euro-6. That’s probably fallen back a bit as we start to get more Euro-6s coming back. We’ve seen the gap close, and if you did have a like-for-like I think the gap would be closer to maybe £6,000 or £7,000 if you’d had the same Euro-5 and Euro-6 truck that could be registered in the same year. As it is, with a year apart between the youngest Euro-5s and earliest Euro-6s it is probably nearer to £14,000.”

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Of course, tractor units are just one end of the market, and while the price of a Euro-5 DAF XF might have taken a tumble over the past 18 months, the demand for rigids of all ages and emission ratings hasn’t been affected. Despite the introduction of clean air zones and vans increasingly fulfilling the role traditionally carried out by rigid trucks, prices have not been affected in the same way.

“DAF rigids have always been a bit different, as we generally only export tractor units. Because people tend to run rigids a lot longer and put specialist bodies on them there is a different market for them. They generally are doing lower mileage compared with tractors too. We’ve not seen too much of a problem with rigid prices,” Young adds. 

Click on the tabs below to find your bargain Euro-5 DAF truck

Last of the late-plates for just £16,750

The late model 63-plate Euro-5 tractor unit is definitely the most prized vehicle, and where the best DAF bargains are to be found. This 6x2 being sold by Walker Movements is a great example of the prices the youngest Euro-5s still command, but at £16,750 it still represents exceptionally good value. With a 460hp engine, 12-speed ZF auto gearbox and air suspension, this cab also has air conditioning, a fridge and microwave.

It sounds like the ideal truck, having had just one previous owner, but as with every gift horse you must check in its mouth, and while this one is MoT’d until July this year, it has covered more than 950,000km. If that doesn’t put you off, and it shouldn’t, then there’s money to be made and still plenty of life left in this truck.

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£6,000 and not ready for export yet

Not everyone is willing to take the risk of not getting a return on their investment. While there is still a market for Euro-5 vehicles both at home and abroad, that might not always be the case. Some operators might therefore prefer to spend less and run their vehicle on until it has nothing more to give. If that’s your preferred tactic, then these two units may appeal. The CF is a 61-plate 4x2 sleeper cab that has come from a single owner. At just £6,500 its seller TG Commercials, is already expecting it to go for export, but could it have more life left in it in the UK?

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First registered in 2009 on a 59-plate, the XF is slightly older, but no less desirable. The 410hp 6x2 Space Cab has covered 875,000km and is as equally likely to end up abroad but, for just £6,000 and reported to be completely fault free by seller RM Commercials, it could surely find another owner in the UK, couldn’t it?

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Single-sleeper, serious value at £10,500

While flagship tractors such as the XF tend to draw the headlines, further down the DAF product range there is plenty of demand for CF tractors. The smaller cab still has a big heart, with a 460hp engine paired to an automatic transmission. This 2012-registered vehicle, offered for sale by MM Aquisitions, is typical of the sort of stock that was hurriedly replaced when the industry’s fears regarding Euro-6 fuel consumption and maintenance costs were at their height. It has air conditioning, a mid-lift axle and sunroof.

Priced at just £10,500, this is an affordable unit that will likely still have great appeal in its next life on the export market. It could therefore be an exceptionally cheap traction.

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More power and more reliabilty for only £17,950

Many operators favour larger horsepower units, not only for their pulling power but for their longevity. An engine that’s lived a life without stress, many believe, will likely outlast one that has endured a life on the redline. This 6x2 XF105 has a 510hp powerplant, 12-speed ZF transmission and air suspension. It also has an under-bunk fridge and air conditioning. This 13-plate is the sort of spec tractor that three years ago would have been highly in demand.

Now, priced at £17,950 from FleetEx, it poses an entirely different proposition, perhaps for an owner-driver or as a stop-gap to finding a newer Euro-6 unit.

Take a look here:

A derogation steal at £16,800

Of course, the real jewel in the crown for Euro-5 trucks on the second-hand market are those registered under derogation. Figures for 2014, the first year of Euro-6, show 35,000 trucks were registered, but of that number it is estimated that as many as one-third would have been Euro-5 units registered under derogation. These are therefore the youngest Euro-5 vehicles still left in the market, and this CF85 has all the hallmarks of being fantastic value.

It’s got an automatic transmission, and the 460hp engine has covered just 645,000km. It’s also equipped with a fridge and air conditioning, all for a list price of £16,800 from seller FW Harrison (Commercials).

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