Used vans fetch more money online than in the auction hall

Manheim Remarketing says used vans fetch more money from online buyers than they do from buyers in the auction hall. 

Comparing vans that went under he hammer during January 2011 with those sold throughout January 2012 James Davis, director of CVs, says the value of vans bought in the auction halls fell by 3.3% (£136 to £3,923) while average prices for vans purchased online increased 10.8% (£497 to £5,107).

 “Manheim’s analysis clearly shows the significant contribution made by online van buyers. We regularly see audiences of up to 200 physical and 150 online buyers at our auctions competing to secure vans from stock levels that will continue to decrease over the next 18 months.

“There is no doubt that vans attracting online bids are the more desirable and rarer vehicles through a combination of age, mileage, condition and specification.

“It is these vans that are being fought over most intensely by both physical and online buyers. In 2011 51% of all vans offered attracted an online bid; but they weren’t all the most desirable vans. It shows that dealers are having to diversify their stock profile, and are looking further afield to fill gaps on their sites often with product they would not have previously considered in terms of age and mileage.”

In the 12 month period the average age of vans increased by four months to 54 months, while the age of vans sold in the auction halls increased by 12 months to 62 months. 

Over the same period average mileage of vans sold online increased by 3,360 miles to 76,142 while that of vans sold in the auction halls increased by 8,410 miles to 82,397. 

Owens Road Services sees turnover rise 8%

Owens Road Services is conducting a ‘radical change’ in its policy towards buying and maintaining vehicles in a bid to reduce its running costs and maintain its margins.

The policy change, which sees Owens plan to replace a third of its existing  fleet with contract hire vehicles, is revealed in the Welsh firm’s annual report.

For the year ending 30 June 2011, Owens saw turnover rise 8.2% to £32.8m (£30.3m in 2010) but its pre-tax loss narrowed significantly from £163,017 a year ago to £12,559 in 2011. However Owens gross profit margin was 15%, its lowest level for four years.

As a result, the directors statement outlines a series of cost saving measures to return the company to “a satisfactory level of profit”.

It says that a combination of refreshing the fleet with new vehicles obtained through contract hire; a driver training programme designed to improve fuel efficiency by 3% and the outsourcing of its vehicle maintenance will “improve the financial performance of the business at the same time as freeing up more working capital”.