Healthy used van market ‘not down’ to supply constraints

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Manheim says a lack of wholesale supply is not driving current van demand to record levels, with June’s volume only 12% down year-on-year.

Coupled to improved conversion rates, the total number of vans sold in the month of June 2020 is higher than June 2019 and January and February 2020.

Meanwhile, the average selling price of vans in June has increased by 16% compared to pre-lockdown levels, with average age and mileage remaining unchanged in both periods.

Stuart Peak, national LCV manager for Manheim, said: “We are running daily van auction events and the stock is selling fast, with hammer prices often above guide by double digits.

“We are seeing the strongest demand for cleanest ready-to-retail vans which are incredibly sought after.”

Manheim reported strong performance for Euro 6 vans in June, seeing their highest volume penetration to date with 44% of all vans sold fitted with this cleanest engine technology. Accompanying this, demand bounced compared to pre-lockdown, seeing a 6% increase in average selling price, to £10,751.

Pre-Euro 6 van volumes represented 56% of the total sold by Manheim in June; in common with their younger cousins their values also bounced, an average of 14% more from a price guide perspective versus pre lockdown levels, with an average selling price of £5,194.

Covid-19 is set to transform the used market, with more vehicles being sold online at the expense of physical sales. 

Manheim has been using its Simulcast online bidding platform to operate its online auction programme across all centres.

Representing two new monthly records, average June buyer attendances were up 22% compared to pre-lockdown and over 800 unique buyers purchased online.

“Of the 800 van buyers in June, a quarter had never purchased online,” said Peak. “Our buyers and vendors have adapted well to our online-only sale programme.”

Buyers reported strong retail demand in June, with three quarters saying they had a record-breaking month for units and profit.

A number of dealers increased their retail prices mid-month based on the exceptional wholesale and retail demand levels, added Peak.  

Matthew Davock, director of commercial vehicles, Manheim, says no one could have predicted the record-breaking market over the past seven weeks.

“Undoubtedly external stimulus has fuelled current pent-up van retail demand, including the relaxation of business rates and rents, deferral of VAT payments and the employee furlough and self-employed business support loans and grants.

“The reality is that commercial vehicles underpin the operation of the UK, so whilst there are sadly losers at this time there are also winners, specifically in-home delivery, so I remain positive that the used commercial vehicle market will not slow anytime soon.”

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