Used van market outlook good as replacement cycles extended

Used vans in a car park

The used van market shows no sign of slowing down, with record prices being predicted for the rest of 2020 and into 2021.

That’s according to Shoreham Vehicle Auctions’ (SVA) managing director, Alex Wright, who says that, due to the current economic uncertainty, many SMEs are avoiding taking out long-term finance deals on a new van and are looking to buy used vans instead to support their current business workload and expansion.

SVA says that all van types have seen a big price rise in particular the 3-5 tonne GVW panel van and any chassis cab with bodywork fitted which has been fuelled by bodybuilders lead times increasing as they continue to clear their order backlog after lockdown.

This huge appetite for sub-£10,000 used vans since lockdown has meant demand has exceeded supply, which is why prices have risen, some by 45-60%.

Some pre-Euro 5 models continue to make double their book value.

Sectors where used vans have been in most demand are the typical builder, plumber and electrician trades, plus food delivery and parcel delivery where many larger companies pass on work to sub-contractors who run single or multiple vans. These sectors have also benefitted from the £50,000 Bounce Back Loan which has helped fuel new vehicle purchases.

SVA says that many corporate fleets have also extended their current van replacement cycles due to Covid-19 which is fuelling the price rises as fewer 3-5-year-old used vans are coming back into the market.

“The market continues to surprise us every fortnight when we host a commercial vehicle auction,” said Wright. “Prices across the board are very strong and this will continue, helped by the fact that we are now allowing account buyers into the sale to view and bid on vehicles in person.”

SVA’s positive outlook comes after Manheim recorded another record-breaking LCV sales performance in August, bucking the traditional seasonal slowdown and setting an all-time average selling price record. 

Used van values were 28% higher Year-on-Year (YoY) in August, up from £5,680 to £8,158.

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