According to the latest data from Auto Trader, following the reopening of showrooms across the UK, demand for commercial vehicles (CV) has soared, with the number of unique users to its Auto Trader Vans marketplace increasing by 40% year-on-year in June, and 79% on pre-COVID-19* levels.
Based on weekly pricing observations of circa 186,000 CVs in the market, it’s evident the increase in demand has influenced average prices. Whilst forecourts were closed, average prices remained stable, and in fact increased 2% between the start of the lockdown period to mid-May, growing from £13,128 on 22nd March, to £13,402 on 20th May. However, as anticipation of showrooms reopening grew, prices began to surge. On 1st June the average sticker price of a used CV increased to £13,710 and has continued to grow, averaging £14,404 on 6th July. It marks a 10% increase since pre-lockdown.
Commenting on the findings, Auto Trader’s director of commercial vehicles, Rob Morphet, said: “With over 64 million total visits to Auto Trader last month, we have seen extremely strong consumer demand since retailers have been able to reopen their showrooms. This latest data clearly shows that it hasn’t been limited to cars and there is a huge opportunity in the CV market too.
“It’s reassuring to see retailers haven’t been tempted to drop their prices in order to entice buyers on to their digital and physical forecourts; with demand so high, there is absolutely no reason to do so. And whilst it’s hard to predict how long it will last, retailers should continue to be confident in their pricing and use accurate and up to the minute data, tools and insight to back up their pricing decisions.”
The increased demand has had a significant impact on the speed of sale. As of the last week of June, the average number of days to sell a commercial vehicle has fallen -43% since the beginning of the lockdown period.**
In a positive sign of consumer intention to buy, the data also highlighted a significant increase in the level of engagement with retailers whilst on site. The average number of weekly leads (calls, emails chats, texts) being sent to CV retailers since lockdown has grown by 23% and the number of leads to dealers in June were more than double (103%) compared with February 2020.
Auto Trader launched its new Commercial Vehicle Retail Valuations tool earlier this year which gives retailers pricing insight in the live market, enabling them to buy the right stock at the right price and helping them maximise their profit. The valuations tool is powered by tens of thousands of commercial vehicle observations tracked daily.
* w/c 29th June versus w/c 16th March 2020
** w/c 29th June versus w/c 23rd March 2020