An already documented shortage of new vehicles is prompting fleets to look elsewhere and the nearly-new market of one to two-year-old vans is one option.
But fleets are warned that the shortage is pushing up residual values for one to two-year-old vans up by as much as 15%.
That’s good news if they are defleeting vehicles, but not so good if they want to buy.
Fleet management company Arval is warning its customers that many new vans ordered now may not even be delivered by the end of the year.
Lex recently advised fleets to plan their new vehicle orders well in advance as delivery times from manufacturers for cars and vans grow ever longer (Fleet News, June 7).
Now Arval bosses are telling their customers not to rely on nearly-new vans as a solution to the problem.
The company says the shortage is the result of a wave of new model launches and facelifts in 2006 which created disruption to the supply of vehicles.
It adds that the situation has been compounded by rental companies bringing forward their purchasing of vehicles to ensure the latest stock is available for customers.
Tony Grove, product manager for LCVs at Arval, said that manufacturers are struggling to match supply with demand.
He added: “At present the manufacturers simply cannot keep up with demand for new vehicles which is having a clear knock-on effect on the used vehicle market.
“Acquiring a one to two-year-old vehicle is not a realistic option because shortage of supply continues to drive up prices. LCV users must plan their new vehicle acquisitions well in advance, by at least six months.”
Alex Wright, commercial vehicle sales director at Manheim, said: “Manheim is seeing most one to two-year-old vans beat the book guide price by some margin.
“There has been a shortage of some new vans for long enough now for used traders to be short of stock and they are paying top prices as a result.
“Some vendors are also hanging on to their vans for longer as they wait for their new vehicles to be delivered which has caused a further shortage of used stock coming to the market, which has also pushed up prices.”
BCA’s UK business development manager – commercial vehicles, Duncan Ward, said: “The few late-plate, low mileage vans that reach auction are highly prized by buyers.”