Record demand sees van prices increase by more than 5% in 2013

Van values increased by 5.5% during 2013, despite a significant rise in their age, according to market analysis from Manheim.

While the average LCV value at auction rose from £4,179 in December 2012 to £4,405 last month, the average age of vans under the hammer increased from 60 months, up to 63 during the year.

James Davis, head of commercial vehicles at Manheim, said: “Comparing an average van at auction today to one we would have seen a year ago, highlights the remarkable state of the current market.

“Today’s average van is three months older and has around 1,200 more miles on the clock compared to a typical van at auction in December 2012. The big difference is, today’s van is £226 more expensive.”

According to Manheim’s monthly market analysis, this rise in values has been driven by the ongoing shortage of good quality, low mileage vans at auction.

More specifically, car derived vans, aged between three and four years now boast a £668 higher average selling price compared to December 2012.

This can be attributed to them being four months younger and having 5,000 fewer miles compared to a year ago. Despite the fact that 64% of small panel vans sold in December were over 60 months in age (actual average was 7.5 years), these vehicles saw a year-on-year increase in value of £327.

This was despite the fact that they were seven months older, yet had 2,500 fewer miles.

Finally, half of all large panel vans (>3t), sold in December were older than 60 months (average age of these was 82 months - nearly seven years), attracting a £679 higher average selling price compared to December 2012.

This annual appreciation in price was despite the fact the vans were four months older and average mileages remained the same.

Davis concluded: “The wholesale CV market is highly sensitive to supply and it has always been challenging to predict de-fleet volumes. Indeed, it is the scarcity of good stock coming up for auction now, which can be traced back to the recession of 2008, which is largely responsible for the current market conditions.

“That said, those corporate fleets with access to funds back in recessionary times, could really reap the benefits of de-fleeting three to five year old product in the current market, which is starved of such product.”

“Looking ahead, there is more optimism around the business sector in 2014, with lending to SMEs reported to have increased and housing and construction projects restarting. I therefore think we will see van prices remaining strong in the first quarter of the year.”

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