The used van market has lost momentum despite values reaching near record levels in March, according to the latest monthly analysis from British Car Auctions (BCA).

BCA’s LCV Operations Director, Duncan Ward said: “Average selling price data might suggest a buoyant market, but the reality is the market has weakened and conversion rates have been under pressure. BCA’s profile of stock is becoming younger and lower mileage and this is a significant driver of the increasing values we report.”

Average used LCV values fell by just £23 to £6,526 in March compared to February’s all time high.

Year-on-year however, values were up by 11% from £5,879 with the main driver being the significant falls in age and mileage.

The average age of LCVs sold at BCA auctions in March was just under 51 months – down almost five months year-on-year while average mileage fell from 73,838 to 66,037 (10.5%) over the same period.

A spokesman for BCA told What Van? a number of factors were responsible for this trend, “including increased daily rental activity reaching the used sector, and BCA winning and retaining fleet and lease business, which tends to have a younger profile”.

The spokesman added that the weakening in the market was largely due to “increased supply and volumes of similar model mix reaching the market, which impacts demand and price performance”.

Ward said a symptom of softening demand for used LCVs was that a two-tier market develops.

“Well specified commercials in retail-ready condition are making exceptional values, while vehicles with an unusual configuration or special equipment will always attract attention from buyers,” he explained.

“In contrast, any LCV available in high volumes, perhaps with damage and a basic specification will have an uphill battle to attract interest.”

Fleet and lease values slipped by 1.1% to £7,093 month-on-month in March but average part-exchange LCV values bucked the trend by rising £231 (5.7%) to £4,233 – a new record for the sector.

Nearly-new values continued the gentle decline that started in November last year and in March the average nearly-new LCV sold for £13,423, aged just over nine months and with 11,258 miles on the clock.