Cox Automotive is reporting its best year yet for HGV sales at its subsidiary Manheim Auction Services.

The company has seen over £25m of assets sold during 2022 with used truck values climbing to their highest ever point in the year, rising by £6,609.

The third quarter was the most succesful quarter, with £7m worth of stock sold on behalf of 88 separate vendors, to 206 different global buyers, illustrating a 28% year-on-year increase, according to Cox Automotive.

During the period Euro 6 trucks increased in value to £20,697 on average, demonstrating a year-on-year growth of 18% or £3,068, with an average age of 66 months and 58% of the volume sold.

Meanwhile Euro 5 and older trucks rose to £7,159 on average, demonstrating a year-on-year growth of 34% or £1,805 with an average age of 296 months and 42% of the volume sold.

In addition the number of days it took to sell HGVs dropped below 10 days during the period, whilst the first-time conversion rate topped 83%.

The company attributed some of the boost in sales to its new HGV hub locations and a sales programme, which has reduced de-fleet transport miles and CO2 movement costs, resulting in an average saving of £488 per truck. The company has ten HGV auction locations across the UK.

Chris Mynott, Manheim Auction Services national HGV manager, said: "The seasonality factors that normally dominate Q3 didn’t come to fruition this year. Buyers were missing on holidays and prices did soften a little, but it was such a brief period we didn’t feel the full effect.

"The general shortage of quality used HGV units, due mainly to the ongoing problems with supply of new trucks, has ensured wholesale demand has remained strong.”

The auction business saw an average of between 400 - 500 buyers from across the globe joining events online and in person, with the company reporting "frenzied" bidding activity.

Cox Automotive is predicting demand and sale prices will continue their upward trajectory during the festive season, particularly for sought-after Euro 6 units, whilst older Euro 5 trucks will also continue to sell well because of their low prices.

Mynott said: "A spike in sales and price for rental spec trucks was witnessed in September also – buyers were quick to get their orders in and avoid getting caught out like many in previous years."

In addition to a healthy performance for the UK HGV sector, the export market has also proven particularly strong of late, which the company attributes to some extent to the weaker pound.

During the summer months Manheim Auction Services secured a lot of sales destined for African nations and the Middle East. The company said buyers "snapped up batches of trucks, filling spaces on vessels that might be the last ones of the year to depart from the UK."

Read more

In contrast the new truck market is making slower progress but the company said it is still heading in the right direction, with demand for HGVs in the UK remaining "robust", particularly for articulated trucks and tractors, along with an influx of new truck registrations, which tracked just 2% behind 2021 levels.

However, the global shortage of semiconductors and raw materials has continued to constrain order delivery from manufacturers and produced long lead times, the company reported. Consequently, the sector is down 33%, compared to pre-pandemic 2019 averages.

Matthew Davock, Cox Automotive commercial vehicles director, said: “The marginal growth in the past three quarters was driven by increased demand for artics, up 21% year on year to 6,166 units, with a 14% increase in registrations.

"The number of newly registered rigid trucks, meanwhile, fell by a further -10% and -13 in the year to date, although the segment has still accounted for more than half (51.5%) of the market this year.”

The company said that despite the sector continuing to navigate significant global supply shortages amid high inflation and rising fuel and energy costs, overall demand remains.

Cox Automotive also called on the government to make greater efforts to ensure fleets transition from fossil fuels to modern technologies, by encouraging new truck acquisitions and accelerating the roll out of HGV charging infrastructures.

Davock added: “The HGV market is sturdy and there’s plenty to be positive about both in the used and new vehicle market dynamics.

"We are fully committed to building on these fantastic results and will endeavour to provide our customers with the most cost-effective solutions whilst continuing to increase our auction market share in the UK.”