In the marketplace: David Hill

Used trucks

The HGV market as a whole is slow. Every dealer in the country is searching for the best stock at the best price. Unfortunately, with little top-quality stock available, most is commanding a premium.

The recent demise of a prominent daily rental company has seen the trade react positively to the release of much-needed later plate stock into the used market; buyers are paying strong money for this stock.

At the lighter end of the HGV market, demand is increasing for 12-tonne to 15-tonne rigids, with many operators now looking to replace their 7.5-tonne stock. Following the licence changes in 2013, the haulage industry has held on to vehicles for as long as possible; it seems now to have reached a tipping point.

With an increasing number of drivers no longer automatically qualified to drive 7.5-tonne vehicles, and hauliers having to pay for Driver CPC training and O-licences, many operators have decided to move up the weights to maximise payloads. At the same time, other operators have decided to move down the scale to 3.5-tonne light CVs.

Similarly, at the heavier weights, with few clean and tidy examples available, buyers drive prices ever upwards as demand for the nicest stock with the lowest miles outstrips supply. The flexibility of curtainsiders means that they are more desirable than box vans on the open market, as operators look to diversify.

Tippers remain in short supply, with any sleeper cabs combined with distribution bodies particularly popular. High-powered 3- and 4-axle rigids with big cabs are performing well, especially Euro-6 construction vehicles for operation in and around London requiring Low Emission Zone (LEZ) compliance.

The knock-on effect of this is the reduction in demand for Euro-5 and older stock. The only growth sector for new registrations during the first quarter this year was tractor units.

The majority of these registrations were distribution units replacing older vehicles. This has caused issues with the oversupply of tractor units that are more than three years old, with prices weakening. Newer Euro-6 stock continues to find homes without too much difficulty as operators seek to future-proof as much as possible.

  • David Hill is commercial vehicles editor at Glass’s. You can follow him on Twitter @DHill_Glass or go to for more information.