Values hold in March as volumes continue to climb
The firm's latest Commercial Pulse shows that volume growth in March outperformed the average in the fleet & lease LCV sector, where sold numbers increased by over 17%. Values were effectively flat – falling by just £10 compared to February to sit at £4,589.
Year-on-year values are adrift by £537 or 10.4% – a slight increase over the February differential. Fleet vans averaged 98.6% of CAP in March, half a point ahead of the February figure.
Average values rose by £34 (less than 1%) compared to February, even though sold volumes increased significantly by over 16%, month on month. Sold volumes have continued to climb since December, when trading volumes were significantly constrained by the severe winter weather.
Duncan Ward, BCA's general manager – commercial vehicles, commented: 'Taken in the context of the rising volumes hitting the marketplace, price performance remains – on average – very acceptable. There were significantly higher numbers of vans reaching the used arena from corporate fleets, yet little impact was made on average price, which suggests demand continues to hold up well.
'However, the concealed factor of sale conversion is making life more difficult than it would otherwise appear for volume sellers. While conversions were around the 85-90% level in January, the figures are now closer to 70-75% on average.'
'With greater volumes coming into the market and no indication demand is going to rise, we are inevitably seeing conversion rates slip. In addition, there has been no real improvement in small business confidence, costs continue to rise across all areas of activity and retail activity for used vans is relatively slow. All these factors combined mean that professional buyer confidence is relatively fragile and with the summer months ahead – generally quieter if previous years are to be believed – we anticipate more pressure on conversions and values in the weeks ahead.'