Used van market will remain buoyant with record prices well into 2021 says SVA MD

The used van market is set to achieve record prices for the rest of 2020 and into 2021 predicts Shoreham Vehicle Auctions’ (SVA) managing director Alex Wright.

The current economic uncertainty means many SMEs are avoiding taking out a long-term finance deal on a £25,000 new van and are looking to buy used vans instead to support their current business workload and expansion.

All van types have seen a big price rise in particular the 3-5 tonne GVW panel van and any chassis cab with bodywork fitted which has been fuelled by bodybuilders lead times increasing as they continue to clear their order backlog after lockdown.

This huge appetite for sub-£10,000 used vans since lockdown has meant demand has exceeded supply, which is why prices have risen, some by 45-60%. Some pre-Euro 5 models continue to make double their book value.

Sectors where used vans have been in most demand are the typical builder, plumber and electrician trades, plus food delivery and parcel delivery where many larger companies pass on work to sub-contractors who run single or multiple vans. These sectors have also benefitted from the £50k Bounce Back Loan which has helped fuel new vehicle purchases.

Many corporate fleets have also extended their current van replacement cycles due to Covid-19 which is fuelling the price rises as fewer 3-5-year-old used vans are coming back into the market.

“The market continues to surprise us every fortnight when we host a commercial vehicle auction. Prices across the board are very strong and this will continue, helped by the fact that we are now allowing account buyers into the sale to view and bid on vehicles in person,” explained Alex Wright SVA’s MD.

“Our business foundation is online but adding back the traditional physical buyer fully masked, hand gelled, and distanced adds to the duels between bidders. Emotions are running high in the hall as each buyer is in need of fresh stock to keep their customers happy,” he added.

Meanwhile, private buyers are still excluded from SVA currently.