In January, Manheim recorded a 24% increase in vans offered from the same period in 2016.
Going into 2017, the UK’s number one commercial vehicle auction company predicted higher volumes during the first quarter, but this figure exceeds previous expectations.
Despite the growth in volume, the average selling price of vans sold at Manheim in January was £5,576, the strongest figure in eight years, a rise of 9% year-on-year and 3.2% on December.
Conversion rates were slightly down by 6% compared to the same month in 2015, but this is to be expected with the 24% increase in volume and the strong buyer activity in December, with vendors selling right up until Christmas, as previously reported by Manheim.
The average age and mileage of vans sold during January fell year-on-year, with age dropping by one month and mileage by 5,751 miles, with the average age of vans sold being 59 months with an average of 73,815 miles on the clock.
Matthew Davock, head of LCV at Manheim, said: “Since we opened our doors at the start of the year, there has been a consistent wave of van volume, and going into the first week of February, this shows no signs of slowing down. We carried our lowest stock over the Christmas period in five years.
“We sold more vans in January than we have for six years, with sold volumes 18% above the same month in 2016. Given that we have also witnessed slight degradation in overall return condition – with average recorded damage £368 up year-on-year – and higher duplication of stock, our sales performance and increase in selling price is a fantastic result for our clients.
Online performance at Manheim continues to grow, with 33% of vans sold in January selling to online buyers, which was 5% higher than January 2016 and 2% above the figure recorded in December.
Davock added: “An increase in 8-16 month old stock at Manheim’s auctions has had a positive impact on average selling price, but has potentially been negative for overall conversion rates, as younger, lower mileage vas with some damage have not been at the top of our buyers’ wish lists. This is augmented especially when you consider the great offers that manufacturers are offering on new and pre-registered stock.
“Overall buyer activity remains very positive in January, with physical footfall slightly lower than expected, but our clickfall of online buyers continuing to increase. Many buyers have reported retail activity for the first two weeks of the year was fairly slow, but picked up at the end of the month.
“Optimism and strength are our watchwords for the van market, having recorded volume and average selling price at their highest levels for eight years. In February, extra focus should be put on realistic pricing of duplicate, late-plated and damaged stock to ensure buyer engagement and conversion rates remains high.”