The UK’s used van market is well on the way to shaking off the effects of the recession, according to analysis from Manheim.
The industry is still seeing a high proportion of older vans at auction, but this pattern will be less evident during 2015. Based on new vehicle sales data, the research provides a unique overview of rolling used van availability, by tracking the feed of stock into the market since 2005.
While data from the SMMT confirms that new van sales will have risen to approximately 316,000 in 2014 (from a low of 186,000 in the recession of 2009), natural market equilibrium between age categories of vans has still not yet been achieved, according to the UK’s biggest seller of used commercial vehicles.
James Davis, head of commercial vehicles at Manheim, explained: “Manheim believes that this chronic shortage of vans entering the market has driven the remarkably strong prices seen at auction. When looking back at the shape of the industry in 2008, before the recession hit, the wholesale van market was stable in terms of age and mileage profile.
“Today’s marketplace, in comparison, is almost unrecognisable. Despite selling an all-time record proportion of older vans, average prices have continued to rise. Since 2006 average van values have increased just over £1,400, or 45%, despite being nine months older and having travelled 12,000 more miles. Considering more recent times, October’s year on year average van value in auction has risen by £659, or 15%, to £4,909.
“Our recent analysis has shed a new light on the size of the issue. When mapping each year’s annual total new van registrations forward it is clear to see where the impact of registration shortfalls will be felt.
"Take 2009 - the 186,000 new vans registered that year become 1 to 2 year old vans in 2010, then 2 to 3 year old vans in 2011, 3 to 4 vans in 2012 and so on. That’s not to say they will be sold, but that each year’s new van volume is effectively tracking through, by age banding, adding to the overall UK van parc of 3.7 million vehicles.
"Our analysis indicates that de-fleet age profiles will return to a pre-recessionary pattern in 2016. This is based upon the time lag from date of registration to first life de-fleet.
“When combined with the post recessionary recovery in new van registrations, we also believe we will see anywhere up to 30% more vans in the wholesale arena.
"Our view is that this volume will be comfortably absorbed by the wholesale market which will, no doubt, be fuelled by the stronger economic position of UK Plc.”