Demand for used LCVs pushes prices to record levels

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Used van prices have reached an all-time high in July as demand for used stock increases among buyers.

Average van values at Manheim are up 5.5% (+£423) on last month’s figures and 31% higher compared to July 2019, despite slight increases in age and mileage.

Despite rental de-fleet volumes falling in line with expectations, the percentage of Euro 6 vans sold in July increased, representing just under half of all wholesale vans sold at Manheim. These vans had an average selling price of £11,189 and were 27 months old with 36,665 miles.

The differential between pre-Euro 6 stock is clear to see, with an average selling price of £5,574 and an average age of 70 months and 83,255 miles in comparison.

Buyer attendance also jumped by 4% from June, with more than 1,000 unique buyers winning vans digitally. Franchise activity was also noticeably improved, with 11% of all vans sold finding a franchise home. At a 5% year-on-year increase, Manheim says this underlines the increasing focus on used in this sector in the absence of new volumes.

James Davis, customer insight director, Cox Automotive UK, said: “In stark contrast to new registration figures, the year continues to deliver outstanding performances in the used van sector. Due to the global shutdown, I believe it is somewhat irrelevant to reflect on monthly van registration movements.

“So, whilst it’s positive that volumes in June and July are up, the July SMMT data shows year to date that registrations are down 38.6%. Furthermore, their recently revised 2020 forecast sees that position improving but still 26.3% behind 2019 at 269,000 vans.

“With a paradigm shift to home delivery, it will be interesting to see how we, as consumers, continue. If this is a permanent adjustment, I would suggest new van registrations would recover to a stronger level. In the meantime, the supply pipeline for used vans is squeezed as we come out of a recessionary position. I predict the used market is likely to be buoyant for many years.”

According to Aston Barclay, used van prices have risen by 20.8% (£1,026) in Q2, averaging £5,949.

Double-cab pick-up prices also rose in Q2 by 4.2% (£312) at Aston Barclay, on the back of a marked fall in average age and mileage to 60 months and 65,000 miles. The remarketing firm says stock remains in short supply, but replacement cycles are now consistently at five years, which vendors consider as their optimum contract length.

“We don’t know when the prices will stabilise, although moving into July prices have cooled slightly as supply has started to improve,” explained Geoff Flood, Aston Barclay’s national LCV manager.

“However, there is likely to be a shortage of stock during the summer as OEMs get production levels back to normal before fleets kickstart their replacement programmes.”

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