Manheim Commercial Vehicles has confirmed a record-breaking start to the year in its van division.
The auction house has reported year-on-year growth in respect of each market performance measure and continues to see exceptional buyer demand fuelling a superheated wholesale van market.
Manheim’s 2016 buyer audiences are 16% higher than last year, with 74% of all vans offered attracting an online bid and a third going on to sell to an online buyer.
When compared to the first five months of 2015, the average selling price this year has increased by 6%, or £275, despite near identical average age and mileage.
Exceptional buyer demand has driven all-time record conversion rates for the period.
From January to the end of May, Manheim sold 81% of vendors’ vans first time, a 6% rise compared to the same period in 2015.
This performance came against a backdrop of increased volumes of duplicate, high-mileage and damaged vans.
Matthew Davock, head of LCV at Manheim said “I’m staggered that three-quarters of the vans we’ve offered so far this year have attracted an online bid.
"Compared to last year, we have sold 7% more vans online, that’s a total of 32%.
"We’ve seen some sale sections where over 60% of the vans have sold online with 100% overall conversion rates.”
In May, Manheim saw average selling prices increase £434, or 10%, year-on-year, despite slight increases in average age and mileage.
James Davis, director of CV at Manheim, said: “Our phenomenal 2016 performance is driven by a step-change in online buyer engagement.
"We’ve been predicting a paradigm shift towards online buying channels and we’re already beginning to see the benefits of launching 360-degree high-definition imagery, inspection systems and de-fleet facilities across our network.
"This eight-figure investment is driving new standards for buyers.
"We’ve held a record number of online-only and bid and buy now auction events, as well as hosting offsite online sales supported by our unique mobile auction unit."
Davock adds: “Over the summer months, we expect to see the usual seasonality in the van market, with the added distraction of the referendum and the football championships.
"In my opinion there may be a slight impact on conversion rates, but I believe selling prices will remain strong while average age and mileage remains stable.
"The only note of caution is to vendors with duplicate, damaged and high mileage product.
"With bid values as much as 20% behind book, the need for market-reflective reserve pricing is key to maintaining buyer loyalty and activity.”