Reasons to buy a Euro-5 used Volvo truck
Supply and demand is always the key, not only to paying a decent price for a used truck, but also when it comes to finding good examples of these older vehicles. If demand is strong, prices are high and more good-quality examples are likely to find their way onto the market from those trying to capitalise on the boom. If demand is weak, prices are hit as the vehicles that need to be sold fill the market and the quality of the stock becomes more varied.
If you’ve been following our Bargain Hunt series, you’ll know that the background to the wealth of well-priced Euro-5 trucks on the market is down to a number of factors, with each brand having its own quirks and anomalies that could be to do with the number of units sold towards the end of Euro-5 or under derogation, or that particular age and model of vehicle was not well-liked or proved to be unpopular.
Volvo hasn’t had that problem; the FH16 has always been a popular model, and demand for what is now referred to as the Volvo FH Classic is at an all-time high.
Carl White, national sales and brand manager at Volvo Used Trucks, explains: “The market for Euro-6 is in and around London. But Euro-5 is strong. Until we start seeing solid evidence of low-emission zones (LEZs) in other areas people will keep buying Euro-5, and by the time they sort that out I think Euro-6 will have worked its way out [in to the market].”
White says that where FMs were once the backbone of many fleets around 2008/2009 that trend has abated and much of the stock now filling CM’s classified pages is mid- to late-year Euro-5 FH tractors. That’s not to say that there isn’t a healthy demand for other types of trucks, with 8x4s particularly popular. As always, if it can stand out, it will probably sell, and that is no different whatever the model.
Such are the expectations associated with the Volvo brand, and the demands of the market in general, that White says Volvo Used Trucks is having to fit additional items to help with resale. “Any truck that hasn’t got a microwave or fridge, we’re having to put them in. We will install £1m-worth of ancillaries this year. Ten years ago that would have been nothing; people would have bought a truck and taken it away to get fitted. We can do that service now, and its done by Volvo, so its warranted.”
With many fleets already taking the plunge into Euro-6, the return rates of Euro-5 units into the second-hand market is slowing, but there are still many operators who are running Euro-5s brought from new. Maritime, which remarkets its own vehicles through sister company secondhandtrucks.co.uk is a good example of a large fleet that still sees a use for Euro-5s. With more than 1,100 trucks in service, around 100 are still Euro-5 units, according to Matt Heath, general manager fleet sales. There are a few dozen Euro-5 FHs available that are still being used in the container fleet. While Heath says the business is in no rush to sell them, they still have a price in their window and despite being different to what it would normally sell, are a good and cheaper alternative to buying new or second-hand Euro-6 vehicles.
“Euro-5 is getting a bit of a bad press because it is deemed dirty and old: they aren’t, but it is having a negative effect on their residuals. All you have to do is look at where you can’t go with a Euro-5 and realise they still have a place in this country. We don’t know about LEZs, we don’t know if they’ll be Euro-6 only, we don’t know how much they will charge and we don’t know where they will be or when they will come in. But Euro-5 is being hindered and discriminated against because of that. We’ll still run them, we’ve still got them and they are available if someone wants to buy them for what I think is a good price.”
Starting off our classified finds has to be something from the aforementioned Maritime. This 14-plate FH4 Globetrotter should be at the top of someone’s wishlist for a respectable, single driver truck that’s kept the miles off. It, and 30 others like it we are told, all have around 500,000km on the clock and are available from about £32,000.
They’ve just been de-liveried and have 460hp engines, I-Shift transmission, mid-lift push-axles and a full Volvo service history.
They even have premium-brand tyres with 7mm of tread. As a Euro-5, they’re different to secondhandtrucks’ normal stock, but they’re ready to drive away and come with a 12-month MoT.
Buy it: commercialmotor.com/1865171
While manufacturers often cherry pick the best of their returned stock for themselves, you’d be churlish not to check a specialist dealer for what you’re after. Thomas Hardie not only has close ties to Volvo, and therefore access to its portfolio, it also has its own group of loyal customers who return vehicles. This gives them a wide range and the choice of many vehicles, often with known and well-documented histories.
Listed in the classifieds from Thomas Hardie is another Volvo FL240 4x2 curtainsider with a Dhollandia 1.5-tonne tail-lift, but having covered just 193,000km this is a truly excellent investment. It comes with a one-year Volvo Approved warranty and new MoT, and has just had new curtains fitted by the dealer. Priced at £22,950 this one-owner 63-plate rigid is a fantastic example of a Euro-5 bargain with plenty of life left in the tank.
See it at: commercialmotor.com/1949301
It has come to a point where Euro-5 vehicles often no longer feature on a manufacturer’s in-house rostrum of used trucks, but Volvo has a variety of different offering levels that allow these older and higher-mileage units to still find a place in their network. If it is five years old or more, or has 500,000km on the clock it will filter into the Volvo Economy portfolio.
This 2013 Volvo FL is a good example of an old, but low-mileage unit that you’ll find in the Economy line at Volvo Used Trucks.
The 4x2 curtainsider has a 240hp engine, automatic gearbox and tuckaway tail-lift. It has covered 330,000km and is MoT’d until September. Volvo also backs it with a 30-day driveline warranty included in the price.
Find out more: commercialmotor.com/1958331
Getting into cities could soon become a bit of a headache with the various clean air zone restrictions, but if you’ve got particularly specialised equipment, buying a new Euro-6 unit might not be cost-effective.
Take this FH13 as an example. It’s a 6x2 twin-wheel tag-axle tractor rated to 80-tonne GTW. It’s only covered 556,000km and has an abundance of equipment from its aluminium catwalk and Priden hydraulic tank to the top and bottom Kelsa light bars.
There’s also something else unusual about this Globetrotter, it’s a Euro-3 truck. The owner has fitted an Eminox exhaust system to keep it within the confines of the law and, as such, it has an LEZ certificate to the end of this month.
Despite its 06-plate, it could still do the job for someone at just £27,000. For sale from Wessex Auto & Logistics.
Sticking with something a little more specialist, this Volvo FM grab truck stands out for its ultra-low mileage. Despite being a 62-plate, the FM330 with manual gearbox, 25ft dropside body, and Palfinger PK16001 grab crane, has covered less than 250,000km. As well as cruise control, sunroof and sunvisor, it’s also got Kelsa top and bottom light bars, beacons and air horns too.
At £44,995 from Scottish dealer Alltruck, it’s status as a bargain – it being a nearly-seven-year-old truck – is debatable, but as a specialist truck with such low mileage it is a great example of a Euro-5 truck having an ongoing use and value.
Buy it now: commercialmotor.com/1944676