LCV values climb as stock shortages bite in December

BCA’s latest Pulse data shows average LCV values rose sharply in December in a short month for trading that was also very short of stock.  Both fleet/lease and dealer part-exchange values improved month-on-month, establishing new market high points in the process.

The average December figure of £4,736 for LCVs was significantly ahead of November by £486 (11.4%), with strong demand from professional buyers across a range of product. 

However, model mix was also a significant factor in the improvement in the headline figure.  With volumes notably lower as a result of the shorter trading period in the pre-Christmas period, higher value fleet and lease stock represented a much larger percentage in December than November and this contributed to the rise.  Both average age and mileage fell over the month to 55.9 months and 78,700 miles respectively.

Year-on-year, December 2012 was ahead by £461 or 10.7%, with age virtually static and mileage rising over the period.

Duncan Ward, BCA general manager – commercial vehicles, said: "With decent levels of demand and a shorter trading period, it should come as no surprise that December 2012 would establish a new benchmark value, particularly when factoring in the general lack of stock in the marketplace. This became more acute as some vendors chose to hold stock over for the New Year.  Sellers who participated in the market in the run-up to Christmas certainly enjoyed good conversions and strong average values as a result.

"The stock shortage is a long term issue and is unlikely to change until new van volumes pick up significantly and the economy improves enough to generate a bigger churn of vehicles in the marketplace."

He said overall 2012 saw steady value growth in the used LCV market, with average values ahead of those seen in 2011, and buyer confidence is fairly fragile with much buying to order, but competition for the best quality vans is driving values up.

"Currently there appears to be little on the horizon that is going to change those market conditions, but with the continuing economic pressures and reduced business confidence it remains to be seen if we see the same robust value growth in 2013 that was experienced in 2012,” said Ward.

He added “Values for both corporate stock and dealer part-exchange vehicles reached record levels in December as trade buyers competed for the vans on offer.  From the buyer’s perspective, sourcing stock is going to be a constant battle in 2013 and we expect to see even more activity on BCA’s online selling channels as dealers search ever wider for retail quality vans.”

Monthly values in the fleet and lease LCV sector improved sharply in December, rising by £270 (5.2%) to £5,383 - the highest average monthly value on record for corporate LCV stock.

In fact, the last quarter of 2012 saw the three highest monthly values on record for fleet & lease LCVs.  Performance against CAP improved by a point to 100.69%.   Retained value against Manufacturer Recommended Price improved to 33.1% up from 31.9% in November, with average age static and mileage falling slightly.  December 2012 was £385 (7.7%) ahead of the same month last year – with average age falling and mileage rising.

November part-exchange values improved significantly, climbing by £298 (10.2%) to reach £3,208 and break through the £3,000 barrier for the first time on record.  CAP comparisons improved by two and a half points to 102.1% and continue to outperform the fleet & lease sector. Year-on-year values remain well ahead by £491 or 18.0%, with age virtually static and mileage rising in 2012.

Nearly-new values fell back after three consecutive monthly improvements, averaging £12,438, down from November’s record-breaking value of £14,474.  As always, this has to be taken in the context of the very low volumes reaching the market and the model mix factor. CAP performance fell by more than three points to 102.29%.

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