An increase in younger LCVs coming to auction has boosted sales values, according to Manheim Remarketing.

The company revealed average prices have now recovered to near their pre-recession height at £4,735 – up £132 month-on-month in April – and Manheim’s CV boss James Davis, declared a “watershed moment” had been reached with the volume of older vans coming to auction declining. He said the emergence of higher quality, younger vans being placed for sale would herald a strong year for the used market.

The rise in values coincided with a fall in the average age of vehicles from 65 to 63 months and a slight decrease in mileage to 80,191

Manheim’s head of LCV vehicles, Matthew Davock, added: “The auction halls up and down the country have remained healthy during April, but the Bank Holidays and Easter weekend did have an impact on the footfall at auction centres during the month.

“However, this was offset by the fact that online performance remained very strong and we have seen some auctions sell up to 30% via online bidding.”

Davock said buyers were reporting that the first three months of 2014 had been the strongest for five years, with traders keen to replenish stock.

In contrast BCA reported falling values in April following a strong first quarter.

BCA said an average value of £5395 in April represented a 2.9% drop compared to March.

Ex-fleet and lease vans saw a higher than average fall of 4.3% (£314), which BCA attributed to an increasing number of vehicles in the marketplace.

Nearly new vans plummeted by 14% (£2152), which BCA put down to “a changing model mix in a very low volume sector”.