High demand for commercial vehicles sees used prices soaring

Time 11:50 am, November 13, 2020

England’s month-long lockdown is doing little to dent demand for commercial vehicles, says Auto Trader.

The firm says that while CV-specific visits to its marketplace fell 15 per cent in the three days between the prime minister’s announcement on the October 31 and the start of the new restrictions, it quickly returned to growth during the first weekend of the lockdown, increasing 38 per cent on the same period last year.

Following the reopening of forecourts in June, CVs have recorded a period of exceptional levels of demand, bouncing back far quicker than other markets over the summer, says Auto Trader.

In August, visits to the company’s vans platform were up 52 per cent year-on-year (YoY), whilst there were a record 17.2m CV advert views, which represents an additional six million compared to August 2019.

Despite the three-tiered coronavirus restrictions and ‘firebreak’ lockdown in Wales, buyer behaviour ‘remained unphased’, says Auto Trader. Visits were up 48 per cent YoY and advert views per stock item up 106 per cent YoY.

Used CV prices have shot up thanks to strong levels of demand and supply constraints, says the firm.

The average price of a used van on Auto Trader was £15,482 in October – 20 per cent higher than the average £12,900 sticker price in October 2019.

It marks 10 months of consecutive price growth for used CVs.

However, despite the price rises, Auto Trader said CVs aren’t hanging around on dealer forecourts, with stock selling on average in 26 days – down 37 per cent YoY to just 26 days.

Leanne Thomson, Auto Trader’s van lead, said: ‘Despite the tighter restrictions across the UK, our data points to a very buoyant CV market.

‘Not only has the huge level of demand that we’ve been tracking over the summer remained, but our latest consumer research indicates that over 50 per cent of buyers are open to using click & collect and home delivery services.

‘So, whilst forecourts have had to shut temporarily in England, this growing propensity for online retail means retailers are able to continue selling in a meaningful way; and with prices continuing their upward trajectory, with a healthy margin too.’

Meanwhile, Manheim reported six consecutive months of record-breaking LCV sales performances this week.

The company said used van values had jumped by seven per cent (£546) in October against September’s figure to a new record of £8,936.


James Batchelor's avatar

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer. In October 2021 he became Car Dealer's associate editor.

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