Dealers in the London area could face a shortage of three to five year old van stock due to an expected spike in demand ahead of Transport for London’s new Low Emission Zone rules which will fine owners of vans with Euro III engines.
From January 3, 2012, owners of large vans, 4x4 utility and pick-ups with an un-laden weight greater than 1.205 tonnes with older vans will need to replace with newer models to avoid being fined by TfL.
The new rules are not expected to affect major van fleet operators or rental fleets whose vans are usually renewed between 30 and 60 months, but it will have an impact on the majority of small businesses and sole traders who tend to use older vehicles.
However, just over half of dealers (51%) asked by Manheim Remarketing have said they’re not worried about being able to source stock. This rose to 67% outside the Low Emissions Zone.
The survey also showed 42% of dealers outside the zone were not aware of the forthcoming changes; even though 67% have had customers from within the zone contact them about the changes and looking for replacement vehicles.
James Davis, Manheim Remarketing general manager for commercial vehicles, said: “I would encourage dealers to source vans now rather than wait until later in the year.
“De-fleet volumes are reducing right across our network and we have seen total sale conversion rates increase by just over 20% in the last two weeks.
“Many vendors are experiencing conversion rates well into the eighties, and now increasingly the nineties.
“Online activity has increased significantly with the average number of log-ons regularly exceeding 150 buyers per auction. Combined with physical attendees some sales are seeing in excess of 350 buyers vying for a diminishing volume of stock. This situation is not likely to get any better in the foreseeable future as the impact of the near 40% fall in new registrations in 2008 begins to be felt in the used market. With up to 70,000 vans likely to be impacted by the Low Emission Zone changes, having the right stock to meet that demand should be an absolute priority.”