Used van prices rose by up to 40% in June as a shortage of stock combined with pent-up demand to push up values, according to Shoreham Vehicle Auctions (SVA).

In its first physical auction since the lockdown began in March with 30 invite-only buyers joining SVA’s online buyer audience, dealers saw market prices increase again with some stock making £1-2,000 more than it did seven days previously.

SVA managing director Alex Wright says dealers are all in the same boat and must bid and buy in the current market or face their pitches being empty.

“When you see a three-year old Ford Transit with 50,000 miles on the clock booking at £9,100 and selling for £13,500 you know we are in a market that is extraordinary,” Wright said.

“Having the physical buyers all in the auction, with a chance to discuss the market with other buyers, albeit it at a two-metre distance, gave them the confidence that they are all in the same position.

“They have experienced the market’s pent-up demand for themselves and accepted that if they need stock, they will have to pay the higher prices. It’s a classic demand exceeds supply market situation and vendors are in the box seat,” said Wright.

Wright cited a number of reasons for the used van shortage. He said fleets that planned to defleet vehicles during lockdown or in the summer months had delayed doing so because of delays in securing replacement new vehicles while others had decided to extend contracts until they know more about what is happening with the economy.

He added that SVA had also seen fleets claw back used vans destined for auction to put them back to work until replacement new vehicles arrived.

“Dealers are in a difficult position. They want to make sure they sell this expensive stock quickly as they don’t want the risk of vehicles being worth a few thousand pounds less if the market drops,” said Wright.

“Some are running their businesses on a daily basis, but currently there is no sign the market situation is going to change anytime soon.”