Air conditioning drives LCV values up says BCA

As UK temperatures reached record levels this summer, BCA has published insight on the value of air conditioning for light commercial vehicles.

As market leader for LCV auction sales, BCA has drawn on a huge sample of sold data to show that LCVs fitted with air-con outperform those without this option by a considerable margin in values achieved, performance against guide values and conversion rates.

While air-con for cars is commonplace, it remains an option for LCVs and is not widely fitted across the UK’s van parc.  However, this makes LCVs with air-con very desirable at remarketing time and values typically outstrip standard vehicles by a considerable distance – well over £1,000 on average according to BCA’s data.

Across all large panel vans sold by BCA during 2019, vehicles sold with air-con averaged £6,440, equivalent to 102% of CAP Clean, while those without averaged £5,374 (97.3% CAP Clean).  The sales conversion uplift for large panel vans with air-con was a substantial 15.5%.

For small panel vans, vehicles with air-con averaged £7,975 (104.7% CAP Clean), compared to £6,319 (99.3% CAP Clean), a £1,656 increase in value (over 26%).  The sales conversion improved by nearly 5%.

Car-derived vans averaged £4,912 (103.7% CAP Clean) at BCA during 2019 if fitted with air-con, and £3,499 (98.9% CAP Clean) without air-con, a substantial 40.3% increase in value.  Car-derived vans with air-con also saw a large increase of 11.5% in conversion rates.

The biggest value differential in favour of vehicles fitted with air-con was seen in the 4×4 Doublecab Pick Up sector.  Values increased from £8,783 (99.8% CAP Clean) without this option, to £10,514 (101.1% CAP Clean) with air-con, generating a £1,731 uplift in value and a 3.8% improvement in conversion rates.

Jon Gilbert, BCA’s Business Development Director, LCVs commented “While it is to be expected that air conditioning will add value in the used LCV market, the real uplift in value now appears to compare very favourably with the front-end costs of specifying this option.”

“LCVs with air-conditioning are highly valued by professional buyers at BCA, because these are the vehicles their retail customers want to buy.  For vans that are doing longer distance delivery work, or in a tradesman’s vehicle that doubles as the family transport at the weekend, air-con is exceptionally appealing.  This is particularly apparent in the CDV sector where values increased by over 40% and in 4×4 Doublecab Pick Ups, which saw the largest increase in value.”

Gilbert continued “Not only were remarketing values substantially improved, the sales conversion rate rose by up to 15.5% for large panel vans, making air-con a win: win option for LCV operators specifying new vans for their fleets.”

He concluded “These figures from BCA underline that up-speccing commercial vehicles at acquisition time can deliver real benefits to van operators.   A better specification will make a van more desirable and saleable, and higher-spec vehicles will often sell the first time they are offered, improving cash-flow for the seller.”

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