The used van market is set to achieve record prices for the rest of 2020 and into 2021, according to Shoreham Vehicle Auctions (SVA).

Current economic uncertainty is said to be putting many SMEs off taking out a long-term finance deal on a £25,000 new van, with them instead turning to the used market.

Therefore, all used van types are said to have seen a big price rise. In particular, there is strong demand for 3.5t panel vans, and for any chassis cab with bodywork fitted, which SVA says has been driven by bodybuilder lead times increasing as they look to clear order backlogs after lockdown.

The huge demand for vans costing less then £10,000 has led to demand exceeding supply, which SVA says has caused prices to rise by as much as 45-60%, with some pre-Euro 5 models continuing to make double their book value.

Sectors where used vans are said to have been in most demand include the typical builder, plumber and electrician trades, plus food delivery and parcel delivery where many larger companies pass on work to sub-contractors who run single or multiple vans.

These sectors have also benefitted from the government’s £50,000 Bounce Back Loan scheme, which SVA says has helped fuel new vehicle purchases.

In addition, it says many corporate fleets have extended their current van replacement cycles due to Covid-19, which is fuelling the price rises as fewer three to five-year-old used vans are coming back on the market.

SVA managing director Alex Wright said: “The market continues to surprise us every fortnight when we host a commercial vehicle auction. Prices across the board are very strong and this will continue, helped by the fact that we are now allowing account buyers into the sale to view and bid on vehicles in person.

“Our business foundation is online but adding back the traditional physical buyer fully masked, hand gelled, and distanced adds to the duels between bidders. 

“Emotions are running high in the hall as each buyer is in need of fresh stock to keep their customers happy.”