UK Auction Review – UK machinery market stays strong in 2022 with Euro Auctions Leeds having its best year ever.

4th January 2023

With a shortage of new equipment from OEMs, 2022 was a strong year for the used machinery market with prices resilient and demand high for good fresh low hours machines.

At the last sale of the year at the flagship sale site in Leeds, Euro Auctions put just over £35 million of used construction machinery and agricultural equipment over the ramp in four days, including over 700 diggers of all makes and models. With market confidence in the UK still high with the Leeds yard stacked to the rafters and just over 4,500 lots were sold.

2022 was not without its challenges with access to stock being the major issue, however the  team at Euro Auctions excelled themselves consistently pulling into the Leeds sales between 4,500 and 5,500 lots of heavy earth moving, construction and agricultural machinery at each sale. With a reputation for sourcing good, fresh, late, low hours machines on a regular basis in addition to consignments of new and unregistered equipment, the Euro Auctions team continued to ‘dig deep’ and delivered, sale on sale. Internet bidding continued to be strong at all Euro Auctions sales in 2022, a hangover in trading style from Covid, with 69% of bids conducted online. 

However, in mid-2022 the crowds returned to the live sales and at the final Leeds auction of the year the number of live bidders reached pre-Covid numbers and when compared with the same sale in October 2021, there was a 20% uplift. 

2022 was a stellar year for Leeds with the highest yearly hammer total to date at £329+ million in sales, which was a 24% increase over the previous year and the largest number of items sold in one year with 40,000+ lots going over under the hammer.

Excavators in High Demand – Leeds is now the DIGGER capital of the UK

The demand for excavators in the UK has been unprecedented during the last 12 months, with the industry dubbing Euro Auctions, Leeds, as the ‘digger capital’ of the World. Throughout 2022, at Euro Auctions, Leeds , anywhere from 700 and 1,000 variations of makes, models years, hours and types of excavators went over the ramp at each sale, a statistic unmatched anywhere globally.  Due to the quality of the equipment offered and the exchange rates movements throughout the year, Leeds has seen increased levels of international buyers participating and using the Leeds sale to pick up equipment for export. Euro Auctions sellers have also been taking advantage of this and have been consigning to Euro Auctions sales in the US, branded as Yoder & Frey, in particular the upcoming multi day Winter auction in Florida in February.

UK Trends

Top buying regions and countries have been Europe, with the Middle East being consistently the second region by volume. The UK and the Republic of Ireland being top buying countries with The Netherlands and Poland constantly appearing in the top five.

A new emerging buyer in the last quarter of the year, previously not seen at the Euro Auctions sale in Leeds is the Ukraine. Registering online and  buying utility earth moving equipment and smaller excavators, generators and telehandlers. One can assume that equipment is destined for clean-up in this war-ravaged region of Europe. Increased levels of buyers from Ukraine bought in Leeds in October and the November / December sale, as well as the recent Dormagen sale where Ukrainian buyers were the 9th top bidding nation. 

Chris Osborne, Sales Manager at Euro Auctions comments on the recent 2022 sales. 

“During the last 12 months Euro Auctions put on eight record breaking sales at the Leeds site and no sooner one sale ends, the yard is filling up for the next auction. The ability for Euro Auctions to fill the Leeds yard with 5,500 + machines, 8-times a year, is a testimony to the ability of the global sales managers to consign good equipment for this sale”.

“Prices have been strong, helped by the weaker pound, we have seen bidders from Europe and the USA bidding more aggressively. At the last two sales of 2022, 45% of bidders were from the UK with the remaining 55% from the rest of the world, showing an increase of buyers outside the UK. We have seen bidder registration from the USA jump by 700% since October and I personally have seen those bidders buying multiple lots as they sit on the ramp, buying not one of five CAT or Hitachi diggers, but all five, which shows the appetite for the stock we are selling. In addition, at all sales we are hearing auctioneers repeatedly referencing online bidders in Texas, Florida and other states, which again, is fast becoming the chant of the auctioneer on sales day”. 

What is selling well? Everything sells at Euro Auctions as the crowd sets the pace for the sale as all sales are unreserved. Machine that have been holding the best values through the later part of the year - Backhoes, Telehandlers, Dumptrucks, Dozers & Smaller Excavators up to 10T”.

What to Look for in 2023 - Register for upcoming Euro Auction & Yoder & Frey Sales

Maguire Agri Contracts 


N’ Ireland

21 January

Euro Auctions



25-28 January

Euro Auctions



1-2 February

Yoder & Frey



15-18 February

Euro Auctions



25 February

Euro Auctions



24-25 February

Yoder & Frey



9 March

Euro Auctions



21 March

Full details for consignors and bidder catalogues for all sales are available on the Euro Auctions website at email or on +44 (0) 2882 898262.

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