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Van report puts LCV price falls in perspective

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Industry reports of recent huge falls in the value of used vans is not supported in a new three-year analysis launched by auction firm Manheim. 

Manheim’s report shows that while average van sales values did fall heavily during Q3 2008. But when compared with the same period in each of the previous three years, the fall has been less significant than recent industry speculation has suggested. 

In Q3 2008, the average selling price for a van was £2,888. This was 8.7% (£277) lower than Q3 2005 and 8.7% (£274) lower than Q3 2006. 

However, the most significant variation was in comparison with Q3 2007 (recognised by all within the industry as the record year) where the average selling price was 21.6% (£796) lower. 

Alex Wright, sales director, commercial vehicles, at Manheim Auctions said: “In addition to the economic pressures being experienced, it is important to take the over-supply situation into consideration as this has contributed significantly to the unprecedented re-alignment.” 

During Q3 2008, the volume of vans sold by Manheim was 31.2% higher than the volume sold during the same period in 2005. This was also 23.2% higher than the volume of vans sold during Q3 2006 and 15.8% higher than the volume sold during the same period of 2007. 

As these percentages relate to vans actually sold as opposed to those offered for sale, when the entire sale entry and lower conversion rates experienced at the moment are taken into consideration, the total stock figure is likely to be 30%-40% higher in the wholesale arena compared with Q3 2007. 

Mr Wright said: “Manheim’s new three-year analysis is the first of its kind in the industry and provides something of a reality check during this period of economic uncertainty. 

“I have been saying for some time that comparisons with a very strong 2007 should be treated with caution and that economic pressures, although significant, are not the only reason for the decline in average sale values experienced during this year. 

“I have also stressed that close scrutiny is required when setting reserves based on realistic market values. 

“These are very dependent on the quality of the entry on the day and variations do occur day by day and sale by sale. Although mainstream vans are currently great value, we do need to understand fully the impact of over-supply in the short term because values will only begin to stabilise once demand and supply re-align.”

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