Highest conversion rates at auction this year, as prices rise

Manheim has recorded this year’s highest conversion rates for vans in October, with days in stock reducing to just 16 days, as sale prices saw a monthly rise of 5% (£228) to their second highest level of 2015.

While October saw a reduction in stock and the lowest auction sales figures all year, volumes were up 43% year-on-year and average selling prices were also 1% up on October last year. Demand was at least partly driven by lead times on new vans due to be registered September extending into mid-November in some cases.

Matthew Davock, head of LCV at Manheim, said: “October was a great month for many of our vendors, with conversion rates in excess of 90% regularly reported. Supply was not as strong as the previous month, so buyers were out in force to stock up for the two-month rush before the end of the year. The halls were alive as physical attendance rose, with many buyers choosing to search for stock in person, scouring our sites and speaking to other customers about the market.”

Car-derived vans performed particularly well in October, with prices rising 3.3% (£118) month-on-month and 2.4% (£81) compared to the same month last year.

Davock said: “From relatively low demand earlier in the year, we saw a slight increase in this sector in September, and an even more pronounced rise in October, in which car-derived vans achieved their highest average selling price of the year so far. Buyers have reported a similar spike in activity, with increased retail demand for these units on their forecourts.”

Small panel van stock showed signs of aging in October, with a 2% drop in 2-4 year old units and a 2% rise in 4-5 year old vans. Large panel vans above three tonnes reflected the reverse trend, with 8% more stock less than 3 years old and an 8% increase in older stock over 3 years old.

Davock added: “Overall, October proved the current strength of the commercial vehicle market, with strong buyer interest leading to record conversion rates. In November, we expect to witness similar performance during the first two weeks, with the question being when we will see the increase in volume our vendors are expecting.”

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