Press release

Huge demand for commercial vehicles remains as used prices see record growth

According to the latest data from Auto Trader, the UK’s largest marketplace for new and used vehicles, demand for commercial vehicles (CV) has been largely unaffected by the latest lockdown in England and the broader restrictions imposed across the UK.

CV specific visits to Auto Trader’s marketplace fell 15%[1] in the three days between the Prime Minister’s announcement on the 31st October and the start of the new restrictions, however it quickly returned to growth during the first weekend of the lockdown, increasing 38% on the same period last year.

Following the reopening of forecourts in June, CVs have recorded a period of exceptional levels of demand, bouncing back far quicker than other markets over the summer. In August, visits to Auto Trader’s vans platform were up 52% year-on-year (YoY), whilst there were a record 17.2 million CV advert views, which represents an additional six million compared to August 2019

CV performance continued into October, and despite the government’s introduction of the three-tiered coronavirus system and the 17-day national ‘firebreak’ in Wales, buyer behaviour has remained unphased, with visits up 48% YoY and advert views per stock item up 106% YoY. This increase in traffic resulted in a 51% YoY increase in the number of leads being sent to CV retailers in October, with double the email, text and chat leads per advert compared to pre-lockdown levels.

The sustained levels of demand, coupled with ongoing supply constraints in the market, has had a significant impact on used CV prices. In October the average price of a used van on Auto Trader was £15,482; 20% higher than the average £12,900 sticker price in October 2019. It marks 10 months of consecutive price growth for used CVs.

Despite the increase in prices, and further highlighting the strong levels of demand in the market, CVs are spending significantly less time on retailers’ forecourts, with the average days to sell reducing by 37% YoY to just 26 days.

Commenting on the findings, Leanne Thomson, Auto Trader’s Van Lead, said: “Despite the tighter restrictions across the UK, our data points to a very buoyant CV market. Not only has the huge level of demand that we’ve been tracking over the summer remained, but our latest consumer research indicates that over 50% of buyers are open to using click & collect and home delivery services. So, whilst forecourts have had to shut temporarily in England, this growing propensity for online retail means retailers are able to continue selling in a meaningful way; and with prices continuing their upward trajectory, with a healthy margin too.”

Earlier this year Auto Trader introduced new features enabling buyers to research and take delivery of vehicles without the need to visits a showroom. This was further enhanced with the launch of its Buy Online hub last week, which enables buyers to search directly for the hundreds of thousands of vehicles available via click & collect and / or home delivery on the Auto Trader marketplace. There are currently circa 4,500 (4808) retailers offering click and collect services, and circa 5,500 on home delivery.

With panic buying of petrol and diesel gripping the nation, we've seen a spike in interest in electric vehicles with advert views and leads for new electric vehicles on our platform hitting record levels over the weekend. #fuelcrisis #fuelshortages #ElectricVehicles https://t.co/EOX4SEDGCD
This week we rolled out the final stage of our admin fees plan, including any admin fees in the total price of the vehicle. So it's only fitting that this week's tip of the week is all about admin fees and what you can do to ensure your pricing is as transparent as possible. https://t.co/KThAVdSAon
The 2015 @KiaUK Sorento has been revealed as the UK’s current fastest selling used car taking an average of just 17 days to sell right now. https://t.co/X3WTnoOQdE
The number of buyers considering buying their car online continues to grow, with our latest buyer survey indicating that 63% are now willing to buy a used car online when presented with a scenario. https://t.co/FTxnM4ccPO
We're working with the @RMI_NFDA and ICDP to understand how dealers have adopted more digital retailing practices and we need to hear from you! Take the survey now to get a free personalised benchmark report👉https://t.co/qjQqIdVWFt https://t.co/eUiwMtm8E6
As of today, admin fees will be included in the total advertised price of the vehicle on Auto Trader. https://t.co/zy5qYuzEqp
The popularity of electric vehicles on our marketplace continues to grow with almost 1 in 5 consumers looking for a new car on our marketplace now considering an electric car. https://t.co/o6fHAjgL1y
In our next Courageous Conversations webinars, we'll be will be discussing whether the automotive industry is a safe space for the LGBT+ community along @forduk, @UKVolkswagen and @stonewalluk. Register now to join the conversation 👉https://t.co/p3ID7BHI3O https://t.co/FvNNTIhCEm
The latest @SMMT figures show a drop in new car transactions of 22% in August. But despite this, @IanJPlummer believes there are still reasons to be confident and that there is now a huge opportunity for the used car market. https://t.co/M0YmHKH2VA
In our next webinar, we’ll be looking at how this month’s plate change is impacting the market. Are we seeing an influx of buyer’s part-exchanging for a brand-new car and will it ease pressure on stock in the market? Register now find out 👉https://t.co/Oi8hLyTaTg https://t.co/Jjx116svPd

Auto Trader Group plc
Registered in England (Company number: 09439967)

Auto Trader Limited
Registered in England and Wales (Company number: 03909628)

Registered address:

1 Tony Wilson Place
Manchester
M15 4FN
VAT number: GB 614 8918 20

Keep in touch

We use social media to speak to the UK’s largest car buying audience