Manheim Remarketing is expecting a spike in demand for three to five year old vans in the London area as local authorities call time on old vans from January 2012.
Buyers are being encouraged to stock up as small businesses and sole traders will be looking to replace their vehicles rather than facing a fine or the cost of fitting an approved particulate filter, the cost for which could exceed £2,000.
Transport for London (TfL) has advised that users should allow three months to order, fit and certify filters through an MOT test station. A certificate is issued and then checked annually. With extended new vehicle supply lead times and restricted availability of finance the likelihood is that many businesses may buy a younger used commercial vehicle.
From January 2012 London’s low emission zone (LEZ) will include pre-Euro 3 engines. This is bad news for owners of large vans, 4x4 utility and pick-ups with an unladen weight greater than 1.205 tonnes, and registered before January 1, 2002. Minibuses over nine seats also need to be compliant.
While this change will not affect major van fleet operators or rental fleets whose vans are usually renewed between 30 and 60 months, it will have an impact on the majority of small businesses and sole traders who tend to use older vehicles. These vehicles usually operate within a relatively limited radius of base so travel lower annual mileages.
James Davis, general manager, commercial vehicles, Manheim Remarketing, said: “Up to 70,000 vans could be impacted by these LEZ changes. The average age of vans sold by Manheim Auctions varies between 50 and 55 months so there is plenty of choice for dealers to stock up in anticipation of small businesses or sole traders looking to replace their ageing vehicles before the end of the year. Our research into retail customers’ search patterns indicates that they will use internet search engines to find the right van, irrespective of the dealer’s location relative to the LEZ.”