South East hauliers most likely to invest in used trucks
South East hauliers most likely to invest in used trucks

South East hauliers most likely to invest in used trucks

Newly released data from online used truck sales specialist Auto Trader Trucks has revealed that hauliers based in London and the South East are most likely to invest in a used commercial vehicle over the coming weeks and months. 
In order to build up a picture of how demand for used trucks is spread across the UK, analysts from Auto Trader Trucks studied online search statistics gathered over a three-month period between September and November 2014. The data revealed that more than a third of all used truck searches originated in the region – 12 per cent from within the Greater London area and a further 22 per cent from across the rest of the South East.
Potential buyers in the North West carried out 14 per cent of online vehicle searches, suggesting many haulage firms in this region will also be looking to replace existing vehicles or add to their fleet of trucks in the new year. Auto Trader Trucks users based in the West Midlands carried out the third highest number of searches. This group ran 10 per cent of all used truck search queries during the period.The data also revealed that demand is spread right across the spectrum, with buyers showing considerable interest in all types of setups, from individual tractor units and trailers through to rigid trucks. There are thousands of used trucks for sale on the Auto Trader Trucks website at any one time, with sellers based throughout the UK. All of the world's leading manufacturers are represented, including Volvo, Iveco, Mercedes-Benz, Scania and DAF. The analysts found that among potential buyers searching for a particular make of vehicle, Scania was the most in-demand marque, accounting for 15.8 per cent of searches. Queries for used DAF trucks followed closely at 15 per cent, while Mercedes-Benz emerged as the third most-requested make, making up just over 12 per cent of searches.
Auto Trader Trucks' figures have revealed that demand for used trucks falls pretty much in line with registration statistics showing where the UK's commercial vehicles are based. The latest available data from 2013 indicates that 27 per cent of trucks were registered to addresses in London and the South East, 13 per cent to addresses in the North West region and 12 per cent to properties in the West Midlands. The suggestion is that demand for used commercial vehicles is spread evenly, in line with the distribution of vehicles, rather than centred on any particular part of the UK.
Increasing business confidence sees rise in new commercial vehicle registrations
Strength in demand for pre-owned commercial vehicles is currently being matched by demand for new trucks and vans, according to separate data released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT) covering the 12 months to November 2014. Figures from the organisation revealed that businesses are continuing to invest in new vehicles, vans in particular. The SMMT's data pointed to an 18.9 per cent year-on-year increase in the number of new van registrations for vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes. In addition there was an 11.5 per cent increase in new registrations for rigid trucks, while registrations for articulated lorries slipped by 8.8 per cent. The fall was attributed to the introduction of new Type Approval legislation at the end of October, which is said to have had a disruptive impact on the truck market in November.
Falling fuel prices provide welcome relief for hauliers
A slide in world oil prices has helped to bring a certain amount of relief for drivers in the UK and is likely to have had a positive impact on companies' plans to invest in their commercial vehicle fleets over the coming months. Average petrol and diesel prices now stand at 120.17p and 124.72p respectively, according to data collected by online fuel price monitoring service That's down from 130.79p and 138.24p at the start of the year.
The price of a barrel of Brent Crude fell to $67.35 at the start of December, representing a new five-year low and a significant drop on the 2014 high of $115.36 seen in June. As a result there have been calls from some areas for fuel retailers to slash prices further and pass on savings to drivers. Motoring organisation the RAC wants to see further significant cuts in forecourt fuel prices before Christmas.
The group's fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: "Retailers now have a very reasonable record on transparent pricing so we have no reason to believe that they will not pass on the savings in the wholesale price, we just urge them to do it sooner rather than later to make the point very clearly to motorists that they operate a fair pricing system. If they do, we could well see petrol pump prices fall by well over 7p a litre in the next few weeks and diesel by almost 6p a litre."
Chancellor announces continued fuel duty freeze
There was more good news for the haulage industry in December's Autumn Statement, particularly for companies expecting to press ahead with expansion plans in 2015. Chancellor George Osborne announced a continued freeze on fuel duty beyond next year's budget, with tax set to remain at its current level in April 2015.
However, some in the industry hoped the chancellor would go further and announce a cut in duty in a bid to ease the pressure on British businesses. The Road Haulage Association was keen to see a 3p per litre reduction in fuel duty, which it claims is desperately needed in order to "maintain the viability of UK hauliers".
The organisation's chief executive Richard Burnett said: "Diesel represents more than a third of a haulier's costs and UK fuel duty is the highest in the EU. Because of this our European counterparts are operating at an unfair advantage. A three pence per litre duty would have gone some way to levelling the playing field between the UK and the rest of Europe and would have represented a 3-4 per cent reduction in costs to the haulier, enabling them to be more competitive." 

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