• Average selling prices rise for Euro 6 vans
  • Number of days to sell reaches lowest level in 12 months
  • Record sales to franchised retailers, despite supply constraints

The first three months of 2021 have seen Manheim’s used LCV sales exceed expectations, with March experiencing three new records. It’s a continuation of a trend seen in used Euro 5 and Euro 6 van sales, where increased buyer engagement has been recorded every month this year, reflecting 2020 levels. The figures are a stark contrast to new van sales figures, which the SMMT recently stated are still falling below market expectations.

The hat-trick of new records set in the used market during March include: the average selling price, the number of days to sell, and record sales volumes to franchised retailers. The average selling price of Euro 6 vans rose by 3% or £541, despite slight increases in age and mileage. Used Euro 5 vans recorded average price reductions of 2%, or £114.

Another record was set in the number of days LCVs spent at Manheim auction sites, from arrival to auction sale. The number of days vans were held on site in March fell by 20% compared to January, with each van taking an average of 8.9 days to sell, the lowest figure recorded for the past 12 months.

James Davis, Customer Insight Director at Cox Automotive, said: “The latest results show the used van market is back in full swing. We predicted in quarter four of 2020 that the first quarter of 2021 would see single digit percentage increases in Euro 6 sales figures and that Euro 5 figures would plateau. These numbers prove our estimates were accurate.

“Putting this into perspective, the combined Euro 5 and Euro 6 average selling van values in March 2021 were 49% higher than March 2020, and 51% ahead of the same time in 2019. Buyer engagement was also strong in March, with the percentage of active buyers rising by 31% compared to the previous month. The first-time conversion rate also increased from 5% to 88% in March.”

Manheim also experienced record sales figures from franchised dealers in March. Fifteen per cent of all vans sold went to retailers, which is a stark contrast to the sub 5% figure that was seen before the pandemic.

Davis added: “Dealerships, just like all other non-essential retailers, will open to the public on 12th April. We can clearly see that retailers have snapped up the best used vans from auction to fill up forecourts, ready for showroom re-openings.”

Figures from the used van market are a contrast to those recorded in new LCV sales. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) recorded disappointing results in the new LCV market in March 2021, with sales 10.9% down compared with the average March figures from the previous six years.

Davis added: “There’s disappointment felt from the SMMT and manufacturers on new LCV sales figures, but it’s not all bad news as sales grew 85% year-on-year in March. It’s clear that the new van market is beginning to heal, as 56,122 LCVs were sold last month, compared 30,247 units last March at the start of the pandemic.

“Until the new LCV market fully recovers, and manufacturers can supply the level of demand, retailers are likely to continue to focus on the used market, buying more used vans from auctions. We will continue to see trends where used vans achieve a higher average selling price, along with a reduced number of days from arrival to auction day.”