Continued Optimism For Used Van Market

Experts looking to the future have high hopes that the UK’s used van market will completely recover from the negative impact of the recession, and that 2015 will mark a turn in the availability of used vans. According to Manheim, though there are still older vans available at auction, next year will see a drop in their numbers, bringing a greater equilibrium to the balance between the various age categories of vans.

According to James Davis, “Manheim believes that this chronic shortage of vans entering the market has driven the remarkably strong prices seen at auction. When looking back at the shape of the industry in 2008, before the recession hit, the wholesale van market was stable in terms of age and mileage profile. Today’s marketplace, in comparison, is almost unrecognisable. Despite selling an all-time record proportion of older vans, average prices have continued to rise. Since 2006 average van values have increased just over £1,400, or 45%, despite being nine months older and having travelled 12,000 more miles. Considering more recent times, October’s year on year average van value in auction has risen by £659 or 15% to £4,909.”

“Our recent analysis has shed a new light on the size of the issue. When mapping each year’s annual total new van registrations forward, it is clear to see where the impact of registration shortfalls will be felt. Take 2009 – the 186,000 new vans registered that year became one to two year old vans in 2010, then 2 to 3 year old vans in 2011, 3 to 4 year old vans in 2012 and so on. That’s not to say they will be sold, but that each year’s new van volume is effectively tracking though, by age banding, adding to the overall UK van parc of 3.7 million vehicles. Our analysis indicates that de-fleet age profiles will return to a pre-recessionary pattern in 2016. This is based upon the time lag from date of registration to first life de-fleet. When combined with the post recessionary recovery in new van registrations, we also believe we will see anywhere up to 30% more vans in the wholesale arena. Our view is that this volume will be comfortably absorbed by the wholesale market which will, no doubt, be fuelled by the stronger economic position of UK Plc.”