Van sales up almost 9%

  • New vans sales up by 9.4% on last month, 19.5% up on year
  • Wholesale used van values increased by 3.8%
  • Confidence growing in commercial vehicle market

New car sales may be down this year but the commercial vehicle market is enjoying something of a boost, according to latest figures.

Sales stats from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders show that van and truck registrations were up 8.8% to 43,442 units in September and up 20.9% to 293,703 over the last 12 months. Van registrations are up 9.4% to 38,644 units in September, and up 19.5% to 254,045 over the year.

It is a major boost for the market, which seems to be going in a different direction than new car sales which saw a 0.8% sales drop in the UK.

SMMT Chief Executive, Paul Everitt, said: "Confidence returned to the commercial vehicle market in 2011 and the September market continues the upward trend, growing 8.8% on last year. The future state of the economy is certainly a concern, but it's clear that owners and operators are currently investing in new, fuel-efficient vehicles

In the used van market a Manheim report revealed yesterday (October 5th) that average wholesale used van values increased by 3.8% (£146) to £4,015 in September, despite an increase in both average age and mileage.

The average age of a used van increased by three months to 58 months and average mileage went up by 3,800 miles to 79,671. Compared with September 2010, average values are 2.7% (£111) lower, average age is seven months higher and average mileage is up by 9,112 miles.

James Davis, General Manager, Commercial Vehicles, Manheim Remarketing, said: “The market is fuelled by the lack of de-fleet volumes in the pipeline awaiting sale and year-on-year sold volumes were down 15% in September, the first clear sign of the reduction in stock.

“Car-derived vans are seeing increases in average age and reductions in average mileage. This typically represents the influence of the highly desirable stock from utility fleet replacement programmes, borne out by the fact that average sale values have remained stable despite this older stock profile.

"Small panel vans, despite month-on-month increases in age and mileage, have seen average selling prices stabilise. These vehicles are a key barometer of small business users buying used vans for their businesses. A close eye must also be kept on the impact of higher mileage on values in this sector.”

In the large-panel over 3.0-tonne segment, mileage has climbed significantly since Easter, from just over 85,000 miles in April to just over 102,000 miles in September while average age has remained flat at 53 months.

This demonstrates that vans sold in this segment have been worked harder and travelled more miles over less time. Typically the daily rental fleet replacement programmes play a key part in this trend as do contract extensions.

Average sale values of 4x4s have seen a clear and defined uplift in average selling price of £556 in just one month.

Small panel vans, despite month-on-month rises in both age and mileage, have also seen sales prices stabilise. In the large van sector, Manheim found that mileage had climbed from 85,000 in April to over 102,000 in September while average age remained at 53 months.

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