Alex Wright, commercial vehicle director at Manheim, said: 'The market has kicked off earlier in 2004 than last year. Every sale held across the UK has seen buzzing halls with buyers willing to offer strong bids on all variety of vehicles.'
Chassis cabs – dropsides, tippers, boxes and Lutons – have done particularly well in the first week of the year.
Wright continued: 'Vehicles are fetching around £400 more in auction halls now than at the tail end of last year when comparing like for like vehicles. As well as higher prices, we have seen an average of 400 vehicles per sale on offer across the country.
Vendors held their stock back in the run up to Christmas and are now confident to offer their vehicles into the buoyant market.' Sample prices
0202 Ford Ranger 4x4 d/cab 2.5td xlt 65, 000 £10,000
01y Toyota hi-lux 4x4 ex270 d/cab 2.4td 60,000 £7,550
00x Vauxhall Brava 4x2 d/cab 2.5Di 95,000 £4,900
00X Ford Transit 350 rwd 2.4tdi 120ps 10ft chassis cab 100,000 £6,200
00X Toyota Hi-ace GS lwb 2.4d 46,000 £7,550
00x Toyota Hi-ace GS lwb 2.4d 23,000 £7,200
0151 Vauxhall Vivaro 2.7t 1.9di 27,000 £6,900
99V Vauxhall Movano 3.5t mwb h/r fridge van 125,000 £3,900
00W Vauxhall Astravan ls 1.6 lpg 30,000 £3,600
00W Ford Transit 130 lwb s/h/r 15 seat minibus 2.5d 108,000 £7,300
99V Ford Transit 130 lwb s/h/r 15 seat minibus 2.5d 11,000 £7,850
0151 Mercedes Sprinter 311CDi lwb h/r 57,000 £11,000
99V Ford Fiesta 35 1.8D 93,000 £2,500
0151 Renault Kangoo 665 1.9d 20,000 £3,800