Fleet used LCV values fall 2.9% in December, says BCA
Last month saw fleet values fall by £137 (2.9%) from £4,602 to £4,465 with nearly a full point coming off the CAP comparison, which sat at 96.1%. It was the lowest monthly average value recorded in the fleet & lease sector in 2010, and the lowest figure on record since November 2009. Year-on-year figures were behind by £119, equivalent to -2.5% – the first time year-on-year figures have been behind since June 2009. However compared to two years ago, figures are ahead by £1,453 or 48%.
Part of the decline in December can be attributed to disrupted volumes from fleet & lease sources due to the bad weather. However, there were also issues over the condition and variety of vehicles. Many came to the market well ahead of their planned de-fleet dates due to business failures, were often not in the best condition and were of similar make, model and specification.
Duncan Ward, BCA's general manager – commercial vehicles, commented: 'Market conditions were tough at the end of the year, with a combination of poor stock mix and inclement weather resulting in some price pressure across the board.'
He added: 'Happily the snow and attendant travel chaos has abated since the earliest days of January and buyers have been very active in the early days of the year. January generally brings an uplift in activity, and this is typically sustained until the Easter period – which usually represents a watershed in demand. However, the late winter and early spring months could see some significant increases in available volumes, which means average values could come under pressure again.'
He concluded: 'The economy is best described as fragile and we will be seeing the early effects of the VAT increase alongside continuing rising fuel costs, which means most small businesses will have a little less flexibility in their budgets than last year. Anyone looking to the SME sector to generate any major peaks in used van demand in the short term is likely to be disappointed – particularly as volumes are likely to increase over the coming month.'