Used van market stabilises

Average age, mileage and selling price for vehicles in the wholesale van market last month were almost identical to October 2012 figures, according to Manheim.

The month-on-month average selling price of vans at auction has also remained stable, holding at the £4,250 mark in September and October 2013.

Despite a stable headline average selling price, there are significant age, mileage and sale value swings being observed in some segments, such as the car derived, small panel and large panel (below 3-tonne) segments.

James Davis, head of commercial vehicles at Manheim, said: “This is due, in the main, to shortage of stock and the greater impact of an influx of vans from one vendor or contract.”

The monthly report on the wholesale light commercials market confirms that, in October, the age and mileages of car derived vans climbed by one month and over 7,000 miles respectively, prompting a fall in average values from £3,321 to £2,892.

Conversely, October saw the value of small panel vans rise from £4,122 to £4,243, driven by an influx of younger stock into the auction halls.

Tim Spencer, commercial vehicle manager at Manheim Remarketing, commented: “These differing values can be closely linked to corresponding variations in age and mileages of vans.

"This is a good thing, as it shows that the market is now operating as we would expect, with supply and demand closer to equilibrium.

“On the whole, buyers are reporting that retail activity is still steady, with some regional variations.

"In previous months, we’ve become used to the market acting in odd ways, mainly due to the chronic lack of quality used vans, which has created some strange effects.

"So, while we’ve seen van mileages increase in some months, this has been accompanied by an unexpected rise in values, which has reflected the continuing demand for quality used vans and their under supply.”

Considering the figures in more detail, while small panel vans and larger panel vans (under 3 tonnes) both appreciated in a value, by 3% and 6% respectively in October (due mainly to a marked fall in age); larger panel vans (over 3 tonnes) and car derived vans both fell in value over the same period.

While the age of larger panel vans and car derived vans both rose marginally (from 57 to 58 months); the average mileages of car derived vans rose from 57,020 to 74,225.

Mileages of larger panel vans at auction remained constant at 100,000.

Davis, added: “While lack of quality vans in the used wholesale market seems to be like death and taxes, the only certainties we have at present, our latest market analysis does indicate that this scenario may be changing.

“Moving through November, I am confident that we will continue to see van prices remaining robust until the end of the year.

"However, I do expect values to soften by as much as 10% in the first half of 2014, making the next few weeks an ideal time to remarket van fleets.”

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