Manheim, the UK’s number one CV auction company, has delivered another record-breaking LCV sales performance in August, bucking the traditional seasonal slowdown and setting an all-time average selling price record.

Man at auctionManheim reports that August 2020’s used van values are 28% higher Year-on-Year (YoY) up from £5,680 to £8,158. However, according to Manheim, this significant growth is not due to a lack of wholesale supply as the volumes of vans in auction are only tracking 7% behind August 2019. First-time conversion rates are also strong, standing at 87% and up 13% compared to the same period last year.

This current market performance underpins significant retail demand for commercial vehicles as the UK exits full lockdown. One thing has remained constant since lockdown; the shift in consumer shopping activity from physical to online retail. As physical businesses re-open they will require the support of commercial vehicles to underpin their day-to-day operations.

Looking into the August’s stock profile in more detail, the demand for Euro 5 and pre-Euro 5 vans stands out with average selling price in August 41% higher than pre-lockdown. Considering age and mileage pre and post lockdown, average age in August was only four months younger with 5,000 fewer miles. 58% of vans sold in August were Euro 5 or older and Euro 6 vehicles also enjoyed a rally in price with values in August being 15% higher than pre-lockdown.

Monthly LCV buyer sentiment revealed that 60% of dealers post lockdown have reduced their stocking volumes by an average of 40% compared to pre-lockdown. 80% of dealers are also reporting significant delays on retail preparation, advising that it is taking up to 10 days longer to process due to new COVID-19 compliant working practices.

Matthew Davock, Manheim’s director of CV, said: “Used van values are up a third over the same month in 2019, with 90% of vans finding a buyer at their first time of asking. These post lockdown market performances are exceptional. Buyers are now logging onto more online sale events meaning the active audiences are larger and vendors are liquidating stock faster for optimum values. The health and safety of our team members, customers and communities remains our priority, and we continue to monitor Government guidelines. It’s clear that our innovative digital auction proposition is now firmly imbedded with our buyers and vendors alike.”

Davock concludes: “We may be approaching the ceiling of used wholesale values. Due to extended lead times and supply chain pressures, I believe that the next 12 months will continue to be a robust record-breaking period for LCV market activity in the used sector.”

James Davis, customer insight director, Cox Automotive, comments: “We are in uncharted territory in the new and used CV markets. August’s new van market was down 16% year-on-year but traditionally the month is quieter pre-September. The latest SMMT forecast sees 2020’s LCV registrations down 36.4% over 2019 with 269,000 vans, bouncing back in 2021 to 318,000 new vans.”

Davis concludes: “Economies have stalled into recession due to the global shutdown brought about by the pandemic and not due to a financial liquidity crisis. Consumer transactional activity is shifting to online and the rapid decline of specific sectors that were struggling pre-COVID have accelerated in recent months. New COVID ways of working are impacting the automotive sector and the new and used supply chains. There are reported bottlenecks in manufacturing, vehicle preparation, bodybuilding and logistics. Whatever the ultimate reduction in new supply, the used van volume pipeline is severely impacted in coming years, long after the economies recover.”