Used van sales have surged in April, which shows that the economy is on the road to recovery, according to an online used vehicle supermarket.
BuyaCar.co.uk said that April saw van sales shoot up by nearly 15%, as a proportion of all purchases, while the first week in May was a 27% increase in customers snapping up a used van compared with previous months.
This contrasts starkly with last year, when vans represented only around 2% of all sales on BuyaCar.co.uk.
This news follows statistics from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders that showed that this April was the busiest ever for van registrations, with more than 30,000 registered during the month.
Analysts at BuyaCar believe that the current explosion of van sales in the new and second-hand markets signposts a fast road to recovery for Britain’s small businesses, which have been hard hit by the coronavirus crisis and measures to combat it.
With cars – as the name suggests – being the prime reason for visits to BuyaCar.co.uk, the current demand for light commercial vehicles is all the more remarkable and suggests a return to confidence among tradespeople and small enterprises as Britain begins to approach business as usual again.
BuyaCar’s figures suggest that second-hand van sales are even outpacing the rapid recovery for used car sales.
Christofer Lloyd, editor of BuyaCar.co.uk, said: “The increase in van sales as a proportion of all activity on BuyaCar is perhaps the best news yet on Britain’s road to recovery from the Covid-19 crisis.
“While soaring car sales are perhaps to be expected, as people begin to make more leisure trips or switch from public transport to the perceived safer environment of their own vehicle, increased interest in vans suggests a growing confidence underpinning the economy in general.
“With the pandemic estimated to have cost small businesses and tradespeople as much as £69 billion [according to figures from Simply Business] and countless enterprises suspended or closed down by the crisis, this is perhaps the best news we have reported so far from this recovery period.
“A year ago we were maintaining van sales largely by focusing our support on essential workers and service providers but this time there is an unmistakable surge in demand from those who arguably form the backbone of our economy. After all, no one buys a van for fun or to reward themselves after a period of gloomy headlines and restrictions.
“Britain is clearly itching to get back to work and we are delighted because light commercial vehicle sales are perhaps one of the most reliable barometers for economic recovery.”