Fleet News

Van residuals weather twin-plate storm better than cars, says CAP

THE second-hand van market has weathered the fluctuations in residual values resulting from this year's introduction of a twin-plate change far better than the 'image-conscious' car market, according to CAP Motor Research. It says warnings it made in 1997 of how scrapping the annual plate change would cause faster depreciation by diluting the value of the 'latest letter' have been confirmed with the accelerated depreciation of car values - which has not been matched by a fall in the commercial market.

Figures reveal that a typical van, at three years/60,000 miles, is worth 5.72% less today than the equivalent vehicle at the start of the year. But for cars the decline is 10.75%. David Hill, senior editor of CAP Red Book, the used commercials value guide, said: 'The uncertainty generated by the new system has actually helped to hold up values in the commercial market. Operators have been holding on to their vehicles for longer while they watch developments and that has led to a shortage of late low mileage stock.

'In particular there is strong demand for T-plates, but supply being so short means very strong values being maintained for longer than used to be the case for late letters. And because of this shortage, three-year-old vehicles operated by those waiting for T-plates are also being kept out of the market so values there are also outperforming cars.'

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