Vans on sale through Manheim's commercial vehicle auctions

Used van market strengthened by younger, lower mileage stock


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Figures from Manheim, the UK’s number one commercial vehicle auction company, show that the used van market remained strong in August, with values rising very slightly by 0.2%. Average mileage fell by 3.1% (2,339 miles) and stock age was down by three months from July. Mileage was also down year-on-year, by 6.2% (5,016 miles), with the average used van having 75,989 miles on the clock – the lowest recorded for at least 12 months.

Van at a commercial vehicle auction centreDespite car-derived van volumes increasing by 9.7% from July, values increased slightly by 1.8%, helped by the stock being an average of four months younger, with 2,001 fewer miles on the clock. Volumes of small panel vans were up 1.5% month-on-month, but saw an even greater rise in values of 12%, which was no doubt partly down to the stock being seven months younger on average, with 6,319 fewer miles recorded than July’s stock.

Matthew Davock, Head of LCV at Manheim, said: “August saw 55% more vans come through our in-lane and online auctions than the same month last year, with the vans offered being younger and lower mileage on average.

“Manheim’s online channels have once again performed strongly in August, which always tends to be a quieter month for physical auctions due to holidays. It has been a record month for customers logging on and buying vehicles – even when they aren’t in the country – with more than 200 logging on for certain sales. The online channels have delivered record conversion rates and great selling prices.”

While making up a relatively small proportion of total volume sold by Manheim, increased demand resulted in a rise in values – and far fewer days in stock – for box and Luton vans. Selling prices were up by 32.3%, no doubt partly down to the average vehicle age being almost a full year younger than those sold in the previous month, with days in stock reduced by 19.

Blue van in an auction laneManheim saw a reduction in volume in the 60+ months age bracket for car-derived vans and small panel vans of 3% and 10%, respectively; while there were 8% more large panel vans under 3 tonnes and 7% more large panel vans over 3 tonnes in this age group than there were in July.

Vehicles aged between 24 and 36 months performed the best in the car-derived van, small panel van and 3+ tonne large panel van segments. The average selling price for CDVs of this age was 2.1% up on July, for SPVs it rose 12.7% and for 3+ tonne vans, it was up 3%.

Matthew Davock added: “After speaking to many buyers throughout the month, feedback has been very mixed around retail activity and sales. Many reported August has been very mixed, with the first 2 weeks being very good. Only a few reported record retail sales during this period. On the flip side, the last 2 weeks have been the complete opposite, with many reporting poor levels of enquiries and sales. Many buyers have been preparing rather than purchasing stock in August, gearing up for the September rush. They are getting recent purchases ready for sale and reducing overage stock.
Nearly-new used van stock remains to be a concern against performance to the guide. This issue is not going away. We have seen record levels of sub 12-month stock in our auction halls this year.
“To ensure market making success, the reserve pricing strategy has to flex from guide; not due to buyer appetite or condition – but actual transaction price of the new vans. The issue stems with the deals on new vans and the differential between new and used making them a value proposition for dealers.

“Technically it is not the fault of the guides; they only have MRP to go by and the odd anecdotal comment around actual transaction values. When some manufacturers offer double digit discounts to volume fleets this information never makes it to the public domain – nor should it! This is balanced with lead times; with many manufacturer lead times extending the demand for nearly-new vans can result in premiums being made. In short, it needs total understanding to achieve optimum used values in this marketplace. September sees more new models being launched; many manufacturers are reporting their desire to hit record levels of registrations. This will impact nearly-new auction stock. Current auction prices have reported many of these examples performing around the 85% of the estimated guide price.”
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