Despite a month-on-month drop of 5.2 per cent in the value of the average van from June to July, the UK market for vans is still in good shape, according to Manheim, the world’s largest automotive auction business.
Figures from the company’s latest Market Analysis show that while the average value of vans dropped by £220 (or 5 per cent) compared to June 2012; when compared to the same period last year, the average resale price of vans has risen by £124 (3.4 per cent). Month on month sold volume variance figures showed July to be the 11th negative month in a row; proving that whilst used vans are now scarcer due to the post-recessional drop in the new van market registrations, demand is currently tracking this reduction in supply.
James Davis, director of commercial vehicles at Manheim Remarketing, said: “We need to treat this apparent fall in used van values carefully, as the poor weather, distraction of the Olympics and the usual seasonal summertime lull has no doubt held back retail sales. The July statistics show that the most significant fall in values were among larger vans (panel vans over 3.0 tonnes) and 4×4s, however both segments have seen an influx of older, higher mileage vehicles come onto the market since last year.”
Looking at the month-on-month trends in more detail, car derived vans continue to prove popular at auction, with values rising by £50 compared to June. While this increase in price can be explained partly by the drop in age and mileage of stock, this major segment of the LCV market continues to remain robust. Small panel van values have softened marginally in July, in line with seasonal expectations, with a reduction in selling price of only £28 (or just over half a percent), while average vehicle age at sale has reduced by four months.
Year-on-year, Manheim’s July market report supports the view that the used LCV market remains buoyant overall. While car derived van values are up £154, despite being two months older; smaller panel vans have also increased their value by £101, despite being three months older and having over 6,000 more miles on the clock compared to the average vehicle sold at auction last year.
Davis continues: “The small panel van segment has continued to be been very popular with SMEs and is often cited as a good barometer of business confidence. In times of uncertainty and austerity, savvy businesses are more likely to see the value in buying a well maintained ‘workhorse’ as opposed to the cost of a brand new vehicle. There is no doubt that vehicles are being run longer in this sector by first life operators so any headline analysis must consider age and mileage profile.”
Large panel vans (over 3.0 tonnes) have seen values reduce marginally by £43 over the year, despite their average age increasing by three months and their odometer readings increasing by 15,000 miles. July set a new mileage record in this segment of 108,238 miles; the highest seen since the Manheim Monthly Market Analysis report was first published back in 2006. Davis said: “It’s well worth pointing out that this is the true workhorse van segment on UK roads and continues to be popular at auction. Sure, the headline value of large panel vans may have decreased marginally, but remember these vans are typically several months older and displaying much higher miles, looking at the year-on-year trend.”
In the period July 2011 – 2012, 4×4s have seen a seven per cent drop in values (£522); reflecting their increased age profile (11 months higher) and mileage (10,700 higher). As has been witnessed in recent years values move seasonally, mirroring their car cousins, so this segment looks set to enjoy a resurgence in quarter four 2012 and on into quarter one 2013.
Davis concludes “Damaged and duplicate models are still an issue in the major van segments. With dealers preferring not to tie up precious cash flow without an order, or to fill a hole on their pitch, conversion rates on this product have softened in line with seasonality. Dealer sentiment would indicate that they expect the summertime retail lull to continue through until September when historically the market rallies.”