March saw Manheim notch up three new records as its used LCV sales for the month exceeded expectations.
The hat trick of new records set in the used market comprised the average selling price, number of days to sell, plus record sales volumes to franchised retailers.
The average price of Euro 6 vans went up by three per cent (or £541), in spite of slight increases in age and mileage.
Used Euro 5 vans, meanwhile, recorded average price reductions of two per cent (£114).
The number of days vans were held on site in March fell by 20 per cent versus January, with each one taking an average of 8.9 days to sell – the lowest for the past 12 months.
Fifteen per cent of all vans sold went to retailers, too, which is in stark contrast to the sub-five per cent figure of before the pandemic.
It continued a trend in used Euro 5 and Euro 6 van sales, with increased buyer engagement recorded every month so far this year, reflecting 2020 levels.
James Davis, customer insight director at Manheim’s parent company Cox Automotive, said: ‘The latest results show the used van market is back in full swing.
‘We predicted in quarter four of 2020 that the first quarter of 2021 would see single-digit percentage increases in Euro 6 sales figures and that Euro 5 figures would plateau. These numbers prove our estimates were accurate.
‘Putting this into perspective, the combined Euro 5 and Euro 6 average selling van values in March 2021 were 49 per cent higher than March 2020, and 51 per cent ahead of the same time in 2019.
‘Buyer engagement was also strong in March, with the percentage of active buyers rising by 31 per cent compared with the previous month.
‘The first-time conversion rate also increased from five per cent to 88 per cent in March.’
He added: ‘We can clearly see that retailers have snapped up the best used vans from auction to fill up forecourts ready for showroom reopenings.’
Although March saw an 85.5 per cent year-on-year increase in new van sales, it was still 10.9 per cent down on the 2015-19 pre-pandemic average.
Davis said: ‘Until the new LCV market fully recovers, and manufacturers can supply the level of demand, retailers are likely to continue to focus on the used market, buying more used vans from auctions.
‘We will continue to see trends where used vans achieve a higher average selling price, along with a reduced number of days from arrival to auction day.’