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Used LCV sales supercharged start to the year at Manheim auctions

Used vans at a Manheim auction site

Wholesale van sales volumes grew 6% year-on-year as Cox Automotive experienced a supercharged start for its light commercial vehicle (LCV) remarketing operations in the first two months of 2023.

During the first nine weeks of 2023, Cox Automotive reports that 17,660 LCV units arrived through its Manheim Auction Services (MAS) and Manheim Vehicle Services (MVS) locations across the UK with strong buyer demand resulting in 84% of vehicles selling first time – 18% up on February 2022. 

Matthew Davock, Manheim’s director of commercial vehicles, said: “All in all, we’ve seen a blistering start for the used wholesale market and all the signs are this will continue throughout March and the commercial vehicle market will end the quarter in a very positive position.

“After a very busy and enthusiastic start to 2023, February did not disappoint.

“We’ve seen significant year-on-year volume increases throughout our fleet, lease, rental and finance portfolios.

“This surge aligns with the positive spike in new registrations; February was the strongest period since 1998 and an 8.5% increase versus February 2022.

“This is welcome news for the used market as it means the LCV assets that fleet operators have been hanging on to are now finally starting to be de-fleeted and pushed into the wholesale market channels.”

Last month Aston Barclay said that it believed the used LCV market was now at its “new normal” as restricted production volumes meant many new vehicles won’t be delivered for at least 12 months.

BCA, meanwhile, said limited supplies of zero-emission electric vans was creating “volatility” in a light commercial vehicle (LCV) sector experiencing a ramp-up in demand, BCA has said.

The average age and mileage of vans at Manheim’s February auctions left it with its oldest age profile on record.

Average age increased to 75 months, with sold stock five months older than January 2023 and 13 months older than February 2022 on average.

Average mileage reached 81,132 miles as half of the vans entered for auction showed an average mileage of 129,616 miles or more.

The performance sweet spot during the month was the three-to-five-year-old category, which made up 32% of overall volume and achieved 109% of guide values on average. These vehicles had an average recorded mileage of 69,103 miles, Manheim said.

The average selling price across all vehicle categories remained strong at £9,107.

Euro 5 or older represented two-fifths of the stock sold and achieved £4,499 on average, a 4.42% increase on guide values verses January, while Euro 6 compliant vans – representing 60% of stock sold - achieved an average hammer price of £12,165, a 0.57% improvement again against January’s price guide performance.

Davock said: “Buyer feedback gathered during late February makes it clear that this has been the strongest start to a year for some considerable time, with eight out of ten reporting overall consumer demand and health is much more positive.

“Overall buyer numbers at our auction events have been incredibly strong, with 18% more buyers being actively present vs year on year and catalogue views hitting the dizzy heights of 3,682 views per auction event for the month.”

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