Fleet News

Van shortage leads to new residual value high

A SHORTAGE of light commercial vehicles is leading to six-month lead times for new vehicles and driving residual values to unprecedented levels, according to one of the UK’s leading fleet management companies.

Arval is telling customers to plan their new LCV acquisitions well in advance if they hope to obtain new vehicles after feedback from manufacturers that delivery cannot be guaranteed until the new year for many volume ranges.

Customers are also being warned that the one to two-year-old van market cannot be relied upon to fill the gap as residuals have risen by 15% in recent months.

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. This has been compounded by rental companies bringing forward their purchasing of vehicles to ensure the latest stock for customers.

Tony Grove, product manager for LCV at Arval, says that manufacturers are struggling to match supply with demand: “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, at least six months.

“Customers should keep in close contact with their leasing provider who speak to the manufacturers on a daily basis and can advise about potential solutions, including potentially extending the contract on a vehicle to cover the six month delivery timetable.”

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