Fleet News

March commercial values hold as volumes continue to climb

Used commercial values held firm as sold volumes again rose sharply according to the latest data from BCA.

Figures for March show that average values rose by £34 (less than 1%) compared to February, even while sold volumes increased significantly by over 16%, month on month. Sold volumes have continued to climb since December, when trading volumes were significantly constrained by the severe winter weather.

Performance against CAP improved marginally to just under 99%, while year-on-year values remain well behind 2010 figures - March 2011 is down £320 (7.1%) when compared to the same month last year. This period last year, average LCV values reached record levels in excess of £4,600, but have since settled down to between £4,000 and £4,200 in the intervening months.

Volume growth outperformed the average in the fleet & lease LCV sector, where sold numbers increased by over 17%. Values were effectively flat – falling by just £10 compared to February to sit at £4,589. Year-on-year values are adrift by £537 or 10.4% - a slight increase over the February differential. Fleet vans averaged 98.6% of CAP in March, half a point ahead of the February figure.

Following a big rise in the previous month, values fell sharply in the part-exchange sector in March, effectively wiping out all the gains made in February. Values averaged £2,456 – almost the same as the figure recorded in January. CAP comparisons fell to 99.48% from the high of 101.09% recorded in February. Year-on-year values are behind by £187 or 7.0%.

Nearly-new values reached an all-time high at £12,397, just pipping the previous record of £12,383 established last August. This has to be taken in the context of the low volumes reaching the market, however, meaning model mix is likely to be the most significant factor. Performance against CAP improved again, reaching 105.17%. Nearly-new vans remain highly desirable and any vehicle with a retail specification or in a rare configuration can make exceptional money.

Duncan Ward BCA’s General Manager – Commercial Vehicles commented, “Taken in the context of the rising volumes hitting the marketplace, price performance remains – on average – very acceptable. There were significantly higher numbers of vans reaching the used arena from corporate fleets, yet little impact was made on average price, which suggests demand continues to hold up well.

“However, the concealed factor of sale conversion is making life more difficult than it would otherwise appear for volume sellers. While conversions were around the 85-90% level in January, the figures are now closer to 70-75% on average.”

“With greater volumes coming into the market and no indication demand is going to rise, we are inevitably seeing conversion rates slip. In addition, there has been no real improvement in small business confidence, costs continue to rise across all areas of activity and retail activity for used vans is relatively slow.

"All these factors combined mean that professional buyer confidence is relatively fragile and with the summer months ahead – generally quieter if previous years are to be believed – we anticipate more pressure on conversions and values in the weeks ahead.”

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