LCV values rise 13.4% in first quarter

Average values for used commercial vehicles rose to record levels in the first quarter of 2014, up by £641 (13.4%) over the twelve month period, according to BCA.

Its data shows that the average age has risen over the year by nearly ttwo months to 59.68 months, while mileage has decreased by around 500 miles on average over the same period. Average CAP performance was up marginally compared to 12 months ago.Van values averaged £5,408 across the quarter.

But how long are the good times going to last? 

Duncan Ward, BCA’s general manager – commercial vehicles said:“There can be little doubt that the improving economic background is giving a boost to the used LCV market, particularly as seasonal demand increases from the building and construction industries.   

"Many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK are now upbeat about their growth prospects this year and this sector is a big buyer of used light commercials.

"In fact, demand remains strong across the board, from car sized vans through to large panel vans and there is plenty of competition for any van presented in ready-to-retail condition.”

All LCVs Q1 2012-2014

All vans

Avg age (mnths)

Avg mileage

Avg value

Sale vs CAP

Q1 2012





Q1 2013





Q1 2014





(Source: BCA Pulse)
Ward said: “Quarter 1 2014 essentially delivered more of what we have seen over the past 24 months – a shortage of good quality stock allied to decent levels of demand that generated exceptionally strong prices in the used van market.
“Buyer demand is focused on the best quality commercial vehicles and this is keeping values firm.  The online arena is exceptionally busy with around 25% of all commercial vehicles being purchased by internet bidders. 

"We have also seen a rise in the number of buyers who are virtually ‘internet exclusive’ with many citing BCA’s video appraisals as a critical tool to create additional confidence for remote buyers.

“With new van sales rising, some commentators have suggested the knock-on effect of additional volume into the used sector would dilute demand, but this hasn’t been the case.  If anything, the market has been even more competitive over the first quarter of this year and well-presented LCV’s are routinely outperforming guide expectations – often by a considerable amount.

“In fact, 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. 

"As always, good condition is the key and vans with a nice specification and in an attractive retail colour are very desirable.  

"Similarly any light commercials with specialist equipment – such as tippers, dropsides or lutons with tail-lifts – generate a lot of interest from buyers, not just in the UK but further afield.

“However, the summer months typically see values come under pressure and while retail-ready LCVs will continue to attract the buyers, less attractive or higher volume vehicles will need to be valued in line with market expectations if they are to sell first time. 

"Post-Easter values have typically dropped in previous years and sellers should avoid ‘chasing’ the market with stock that appears over-valued.”

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