Automotive data firm Cap HPI is predicting used LCV volumes will remain strong in 2018, despite a year-on-year decline so far.

Steve Botfield, the firm’s senior editor for commercial vehicles and motorcycles, said volume was down 5.2% compared with 2017, but that the market was expected to rebound, with poor weather conditions in March thought to have hampered traders.

He said: “Despite March being one of the most chaotic months on record we didn’t really pick up any weakening of demand and there is likely to be an element of pent up demand positively effecting sales as we move into the second quarter.

“March saw the country paralysed for several days with the complete closure of many major roads and motorways.

“This impacted heavily on the vehicle remarketing sector which is totally reliant on the road transport network for the huge volume of vehicle movements that occur behind the scenes each day.”

Botfield said the disruption had caused a 16% drop in auction entries compared with February, but that online purchases increased.

According to Cap HPI, at 4.3% of total LCV sales the market share for the city van sector was down slightly compared with February whilst average market prices continued to rise for the third month in succession.

For small vans, the market share was down by just over 2% but the average price performance improved significantly to just over 103%.

Medium vans had a market share of almost 30% and an average price performance of just under 101%.

Large vans saw the biggest downturn to around 18.9% market share, although prices held firm at 103.3% of the guide, which was marginally better than the previous month.