PENT-UP demand and low stock levels saw used van prices rise by between 30-40% in June according to Shoreham Vehicle Auctions (SVA).

Hosting its first auction, where 30 invite-only buyers joined SVA’s online buyer audience, dealers saw market prices rise again with some stock making £1-2,000 more than it did seven days previously.

SVA managing director Alex Wright said he hasn’t experienced a market like it in 30 years of working in the sector, but dealers have accepted they have to bid and buy in the current market or face their pitches being empty.

He added: “When you see a three-year old Ford Transit with 50,000 miles on the clock booking at £9,100 and selling for £13,500 you know we are in a market that is extra ordinary.

“Some dealers were buying vans wholesale on a Tuesday for more money than they sold vans to a customer for on the Monday.

“Having the physical buyers all in the auction, with a chance to discuss the market with other buyers, albeit it at a 2m distance, gave them the confidence that they are all in the same position.

“They have experienced the market’s pent up demand for themselves, and accepted that if they need stock, they will have to pay the higher prices. It’s a classic demand exceeds supply market situation and vendors are in the box seat.”

There are a number of reasons for the used van shortage. Plans to defleet vehicles during lockdown or in the summer months have been delayed because of replacement new vehicle shortages.

Some fleets meanwhile have decided to extend contracts until they know more about what is happening with the economy, while SVA has even see fleets claw back used vans destined for auction to put them back to work until replacement new vehicles arrive.

Wright said: “Dealers are in a difficult position. They want to make sure they sell stock this expensive stock quickly as they don’t want the risk of vehicles being worth a few thousand pounds less if the market drops.

“Some are running their businesses on a daily basis, but currently there is no sign the market situation is going to change anytime soon. We are all involved in a new passage in the used LCV market’s history.”