Last week I speculated that August’s rise in used van prices was due to a change in the vehicle mix, not to absolute rises in the sale prices of like-for-like vans.
A press release from auctioneers Manheim today appears to confirm my theory, as Matthew Davock, head of light commercial vehicle sales at Manheim, explains (my emphasis):
“Our monthly Market Analysis is beginning to reflect the fact that defleet activity is finally returning to normality after several years of post-recession contraction. It is good to see that younger vans – those aged five years or younger – now make up a larger proportion of vehicles at auction.”
Given this, it’s only natural that realised prices will continue to rise — buyers are getting more for their money. As with the BCA figures, however, Manheim’s latest figures make it clear that used prices are not at all-time highs, which were seen at the start of this year:
Admittedly, sales were much stronger than last August, bucking the usual seasonal trend, according to Manheim, as Mr Davock commented:
”We’ve seen a real spike in 4×4 sales this August, at a time when summer breaks and bank holidays usually hold back demand. Our data shows that trade buyers have possibly been tempted to stock up earlier than normal for autumn sales, given the changing seasons and the fact that we’ve tended to see lower mileage, younger vehicles entering the halls.”
Will this strength continue through to the end of the year? Demand for new vans has risen by around 20% this year, which should free up better quality stock for the used market, which in turn should support prices, as buyers will have access to an increased number of younger, lower-mileage vans.
Still, I think this marks a turning point for the used van market — instead of buyers paying more for the same (or less), they are now paying more and getting more. A return to normality, at last?