January saw the highest volume of vans for five years passing through Manheim Auction Services and Manheim Vehicle Services UK locations.

The auction and de-fleet networks had 8,722 LCVs between them, with the increased stock said to be matched by demand from buyers.

Matthew Davock, director of Manheim Commercial Vehicles for parent company Cox Automotive, said: “A positive and very busy start to January has certainly been evident with many fleet, lease, rental and finance LCV volumes showing noticeable increases. 

“This surge can be attributed to several factors, not least a number of fleets de-fleeting much earlier than normal due to reduced vehicle utilisation over the Christmas period, and the arrival of new electric and diesel vans. 

“This correlates with the positive new registrations reported by the SMMT this week, with 25.8% more registrations than January 2022 and electric vans showing a 50% increase year on year.

“Historically the van market wouldn’t usually take off until mid-January, but this year it’s been strong from day one, with 79% of vans selling first time in the first week of January, increasing to 83% by the close of the month – the strongest first-time conversion for 17 months.”

As Cox Automotive has previously reported, used van age and mileage dynamics are expected to play a significant role during the first half of this year. 

Vehicle age has increased to 70 months on average for the units sold, representing a seven month increase year on year, and a 10 month increase on the last three-year auction averages. It was also the oldest stock profile ever seen for a January market period at Manheim.

Meanwhile, average mileage was 80,448, representing a marginal increase year-on-year. More notable, according to Manheim, was 42% of the catalogue entries were recorded at 128,000 miles on average, said to give buyers and vendors stock dynamics they have never seen before.

Manheim said that based on the above factors, the average selling price of vans remained strong at £9,621; 43% of the stock being Euro 5 or older, achieving £5,171 on average, and 57% being Euro 6-compliant, achieving £12,788.

Davock said: “Wholesale LCV market is off to a flying start at Manheim and we predict this market will continue to show positive signs in Q1. That said, we always recommend being cautious of market seasonality, especially alongside the Euro 5 price alignment predicted for Q2 as more ULEZ and scrappage deal rollouts are planned to go live.”