Shortage of used light commercial vehicles hits market

For sole traders, partnerships and small businesses, used light commercial vehicles (LCVs) can provide a life line, helping them to source functional transportation at relatively low cost. Many small businesses are now noticing a dearth in supply, causing many to worry about a potential increase in costs they are in no position to absorb.

A new report published by the Buckingham University Centre for Automotive Management has suggested that the supply of used LCVs is likely to decrease drastically over the next few years as a result of recent market conditions, which have seen a decrease in new van sales since the recession and larger corporate fleets looking to extend the operational life of their vehicles before selling them on.

Small businesses are the biggest buyers of used LCVs and the shortage in supply is expected to hit them hard, with many still struggling to recover from the economic downturn. The largest shortfall can be found amongst LCVs which are less than five years old, with the LCV wholesale and retail market finding it more and more difficult to source quality, used vans.

The report published by the Centre for Automotive Management, suggests that the combination of a decrease in new van sales along with larger businesses holding onto their vans for longer will shape the second hand LCV market for years to come.

Running parallel to the decrease in the amount of vans under five years old is a surge in stock that is nine years old and over. Professor Peter Cooke explains: “The recession driven slump in new LCV registrations between 2008 and 2010 and the slow recovery thereafter will continue to have a big effect on the shape of the country’s LCV supply. Clearly, when the new LCV sales plummet and remain low for such a prolonged period it has a powerful and lasting impact on the availability of used LCV stock.”

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