Van supply shortage hits auction halls
26 September 2011
The two main remarketing firms reported differing results from the auction halls in August.
British Car Auctions said average values for vans fell for the third month in a row - with a dip of £74 to £4056 registered between July and August.
Manheim Remarketing said average used values stabilised in August - rising month-on-month by a marginal 0.5% to £3869.
Both companies agreed that the supply shortage is beginning to bite.
BCA said the continuing dearth of stock reaching the wholesale arena is the "overriding issue for the used LCV market", leading to strong buyer demand driving up conversion rates, even for vans in poorer condition.
BCA's commercial vehicle boss Duncan Ward said: "Nearly every vehicle we consign currently has buyers clamouring for it. We simply cannot get enough vans to satisfy the needs of the buyers and as a result traders are widening their parameters and focusing on older, higher mileage vehicles."
He said the lack of good quality stock on offer had resulted in the drop in overall values as buyers were forced to settle for poorer, cheaper models.
Tim Spencer, Manheim's CV auctioneer, said the shortage of stock coupled with rising demand from trade buyers would be expected to push prices through the roof for late/low mileage, well specced models but he sounded a note of caution.
"The customers that come onto their forecourts are not ready to buy at any cost. Trying to convince someone that the van he wants has gone up by over £1000 in less than six months due to a shortage of vehicles is not easy," he said.
Manheim's CV boss James Davis noted that the used market was no longer skewed by the flood of late-registered product from business failures that affected the early part of the year and added that year-on-year sold volumes were up 14% "demonstrating the underlying strength of the used van market".
He also reckoned the expansion of the London Low Emission Zone to take in older vans form January 2012 would create "an artificial demand spike until the end of the year".
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