The only way is up for the van market according to Manheim after it enjoyed its sixth consecutive month of record-breaking LCV sales performances.
The auction company said used van values jumped by seven per cent (£546) in October against September’s figure to a new record of £8,936.
That was in spite of them being older by 1.3 months and carrying a higher mileage – an extra 2,363 miles.
Euro 6 vans contributed to the unprecedented performance, with their average selling price rising by five per cent (£632) to £12,772.
First-time conversion rates stayed strong, standing for a third consecutive month at 87 per cent.
Manheim, which is part of Cox Automotive, said average LCV values have risen by 36 per cent (£2,345) since May when it launched its digital virtual Simulcast auction programme.
Matthew Davock, Manheim’s director of CV, said: ‘We predicted last month that we were approaching the ceiling of used Euro 5 and pre-Euro 5 wholesale values.
‘This has proven true, with increases in age and mileage leading to a logical softening of their values in October.
‘However, with nearly half of all vans sold in the month being Euro 6, we saw exceptional sales performances, with the highest average van value on record.
‘We see this trend continuing as buyers fight it out for the youngest examples.’
And Manheim said its vendor customers were continuing to report no significant pipeline defleet volumes that could destabilise demand.
Davock added: ‘Quarter 4, typically the busiest in terms of the build-up to the festive period, has never experienced these record shortages of new and used vans.
‘With a handful of weeks to Christmas and the size and severity of any future lockdowns unknown, we believe online retail activity will step up significantly.
‘The emerging trend of consumer “revenge spending” would indicate that this festive season will be underpinned by a feelgood factor – underpinned by a significantly bigger dose of online shopping.’
But Cox Automotive customer insight director James Davis highlighted that caution needed to be exercised where new vans were concerned.
‘In 2019, the new van market experienced specific pressures from WLTP and Brexit deadlines,’ he said.
‘Whilst October was a positive result, year-on-year comparison should factor in these different backdrops.
‘The SMMT typically publishes its final annual new van forecast position in October and its members forecast a final position of 288,000 vans. That is down 21.3 per cent on the 2019 actual.
‘The industry may well fall short of this number, and furthermore I see 2021 tracking similarly to 2020. This is because there are a record number of factors impacting the new and used CV markets.
‘These will continue to impact the global supply chain, as well as market demand, over the next 12 months.’
And he warned: ‘Whatever the ultimate reduction in new supply, the used van volume pipeline is severely constrained in the coming years, long after our economy and society recover.
‘This will see the permanent realignment of used van values as the industry begins to grapple with the phasing out of diesel and petrol in the next decade.’