Steep rises in fuel costs have led to increased demand for smaller used vans, according to auction company Aston Barclay.

It said six out of the top 15 vans in its latest Desirability Index for used LCVs were smaller panel vans, with operators searching for increased efficiency.

Aston Barclay national LCV sales manager Geoff Flood said: “Since fuel prices have dramatically risen, we have started to see the market shift towards smaller vans that are most cost effective to run. 

“Demand still exceeds supply across the entire used market, but we have seen a noticeable change in the current buying strategy from dealers towards smaller vans in March.”

Despite the shift towards smaller vans, the top five in the March index were the Mercedes-Benz Vito, Volkswagen Transporter and Crafter, and the Ford Transit Custom and Transit Courier.

Pick-ups are also said to be in strong demand, with the Ford Ranger, Mitsubishi L200, Toyota Hilux, Isuzu D-Max, and Nissan Navara all making the top 15, driven by growth in building and construction projects.

Flood said: “Any pick-up less than eight years of age is making strong money. Some of the nearly new models are being purchased by rental companies as they look to grow their fleet, as new vehicles continue to suffer from long lead times.”