New long term trend data from BCA suggests that values for the average used LCV reaching the wholesale sector may continue to rise significantly in the months ahead, despite vans being older and higher mileage.
With BCA reporting average values rising consistently during the past 12 months and rising demand expected as the economy starts to recover, 2014 could be another year of record price performance for used vans. Average van prices are up 42.9% compared to five years ago, despite being nearly a year older and having covered 9,000 more miles.
All LCVs sold at BCA
Average Sold price
Average Age (Months)
BCA’s general manager – commercial vehicles, Duncan Ward, said: “Average values for used LCVs have been substantially higher this year, despite anecdotal reports suggesting that van retailers have been relatively quiet. However, the key factor driving the market is the supply of good retail quality stock – or rather the lack of it – and this means there is plenty of competition for the best examples reaching the market.”
“Demand has been right across the board, from older higher mileage vans through to younger ex-fleet and lease vehicles, while the few late-plate light commercials on offer can make exceptional values. The end result has been record-breaking average values for fleet/lease and dealer P/X vehicles. As always, good condition is the key and vans with a nice specification and in an attractive retail colour are very desirable.”
Ward added: “While this is good news for sellers, from the buyers’ perspective the outlook for 2014 is that supply issues could actually worsen. There was a significant drop in new van sales between 2008 and 2009 and with the average van being sold at just under five years old, this will be reflected in the volume of used vans reaching the wholesale markets in 2014. This ‘supply gap’ means the used light commercial vehicle sector may be short of stock for some time to come.”
“Not only are vans getting older on average when they are sold, they are higher mileage. In fact, the average van sold in 2013 at BCA has covered 9,000 more miles than five years ago.”
This tallies with the rising average age of LCVs on the UK's roads, which has climbed to 7.4 years, compared to 6.87 in 2007. The mix of used LCVs in the vehicle parc has also changed. The volume of older vehicles has risen significantly since 2007, with LCVs over nine years old now representing by far the largest percentage of the total.
“Our view is that the overall shortage of used product and the issues of supply versus demand will see a continuation of high conversions and higher selling prices in 2014, effectively meaning we are going to see more of what is best described as a “sellers’ market”.
“While this sounds like great news for corporate vendors, this situation must be approached rationally and sellers must continue to deliver on all the basics. The usual rules stillapply and damage management, stock selection, pre-sale preparation, appraisal and sensible valuation remain as important as they ever were,” concluded Ward.