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Price pressure continues in van market

Used van values continue to be put under pressure according to data from BCA.

The company’s latest Pulse figures show that values slipped again in June as buyers remain cautious.

Duncan Ward, BCA's UK business development manager for commercial vehicles, said: “There continues to be price pressure in the used van market as average values continue to fall across the board.”

The average value across all sectors dropped to £3,499 in June, a fall of nearly £200 on May’s figure and the biggest monthly drop BCA has seen this year. Average values have fallen by more than £350 compared to those recorded in January 2008.

According to BCA’s Pulse report, fleet and lease vans averaged £3,827 in June - the second month running that values have failed to break the £4,000 watershed. This represented a fall of £152 against May’s values, equivalent to a 3.8% drop. This follows a drop of £147, equivalent to 3.5%, between April and May.

Values for part-exchange stock rose marginally by just £10 in June to £2,074, following a fall of nearly £200 the previous month that was equivalent to a decline of 8.3%.

In the nearly-new sector average values fell significantly to £9,052, a drop of £1,056 against May figures. Values are now some £2,000 behind those recorded in January 2008, although changing model mix at BCA will have contributed to these figures.

Ward said: “The market has now been slowing for most of the year, a situation we have not encountered in the LCV market for some considerable time.

“Buyers are still about in the same numbers, but buying patterns are patchy with a definite two-tier market developing of saleable, good quality stock that is sensibly valued, and difficult to place, poorer quality vans that appear over-valued in comparison.”

Ward said well-presented ready-to-retail vans were making exceptional values as buyers are paying “strong money” to secure them: “Even so, unless buyers already have a home for the van, there may be some hesitance in bidding much above the £7,000 mark.

“Away from the very best of the premium stock it is very much a buyer’s market, with sellers having to look at price to stimulate demand when there is a wealth of choice of similarly specified or condition vans.”

One bright spot according to Ward are LPG vans: “With fuel prices at record levels we have seen a resurgence in values of dual-fuel vehicles (petrol/LPG). Values on the few available have been firming – particularly in the south and Home Counties – but it’s fair to say there has been a step-change in demand in recent months.”

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