Used van values hit record high

Used van values hit a record high in November, according to figures from Manheim’s market analysis of the wholesale light commercial vehicle market.

The average selling price of a van at auction has risen to £4,424 (a year-on-year increase of £33) - the highest recorded figure since Manheim began tracking values in 2007.

The previous record was in April 2010, when values peaked at £4,317.

Such strong values continue to be seen at auction, despite a rise in the average age and mileages of vans in November.

While the average age of all LCVs sold in the month climbed from 59 to 65 months, average mileages rose from 82,295 to 86,427 over the same period. However, Manheim is urging closer scrutiny of the market, as volume variances are inflating headline values as de-fleet volumes fall back.

Looking at the market in requisite detail, November saw the value of car derived vans rise by over 12% to £3,261, despite the age of vans increasing by one month (from 58 to 59) and mileages falling slightly from 74,225 to 73,554.

This stability, coupled with sustained demand for this type of vehicle prompted a rise in average selling price of £369 from October. This was driven by age; a third of the vans sold fell into the three to four year old bracket with an average selling price of £4,019.

Conversely, the value of small panel vans fell slightly, from £4,243 to £4,213, driven by an influx of older stock. Overall the vans sold were 12 months older than the previous month with 12,000 more miles. More than 60% of all small panel vans sold in the month averaged 90 months and 102,000 miles.

Despite an increase in age and mileage, large panel vans (under and over 3.0t) saw a rise in value of 3% and 12% respectively in November, confirming the continued appetite for this workhorse of the fleet sector.   

Tim Spencer, commercial vehicle manager at Manheim Remarketing, said: "We’ve seen some interesting trends emerge in the last few weeks, with large panel vans over three tonnes up by £515 compared to October, despite their average age increasing by four months and mileages up by 2,267.

"In fact, half the vans sold in November in this sector had an average age of 84 months and 120,000 miles, confirming the shortage of younger stock in the auction halls.  

“Small panel vans are behaving strangely because of vendor mix. With vans extended by contract hire and single colour fleets, there was also a mix of ex daily-rental younger, lower mileage stock. We’re continuing to see remarkable demand, with buyers clambering to secure stock – confirming the huge appetite for well-maintained vans in this segment."

Looking ahead, Manheim is seeing a trend emerging from its online sales data, when comparing this to physical auction.

James Davis, Manheim’s head of commercial vehicles, said: "Over the past 12 months the average age of vans bought online has increased by eight months, with mileages creeping up by only 4,000. As a direct result, average selling prices online have fallen year on year by £463, reflecting the older age profile.

"We’ve seen the total opposite in the halls, as average selling prices have increased over the last 12 months by £814, despite age and mileage broadly remaining flat. This shows that online buyers are having to cherry pick the lowest mileage, older vans available to satisfy demand.

"It’s important to add that although the headline price achieved for vans online is still generally higher than those in the halls - £5,658 versus £5,195 - this recent trend has somewhat closed the gap in average values. At the beginning of the year, the difference in average values between online and physical auction was £1,516, now it has fallen to just £239."

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