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Van buyers revealed as 'most determined customers' in the current online vehicle sales market

Van buyers revealed as 'most determined customers' in the current online vehicle sales market

Surging demand for light commercial vehicles has seen van drivers proving more decisive than all other motorists on the popular online car supermarket

BuyaCar has revealed that visitors looking for a van on the site are currently between 30 and 40 times more likely to go ahead with a purchase than potential buyers looking for even the most popular car on the site - the Mercedes A-Class.

The findings echo BuyaCar's research in the summer, which revealed a similar trend among visitors looking for an electric vehicle.

It suggests that there is a big difference between the buying determination of visitors looking for niche products, or vehicles seen as a practical tool, and those searching for ordinary cars.

Analysts compared the number of times a vehicle listing was typically viewed before the car or van was bought over the past six weeks. By comparing the viewings of listings with actual sales they also found a strong 'niche product effect', with many harder-to-find models selling significantly faster than even the most popular, more mainstream cars.

Tracking this data over the course of the year also reveals that determined buyers are snapping up vans faster than at any previous point during the first three quarters of 2021.

For example, there are almost 19 times as many viewings of Mercedes A-Class listings before someone snaps up the car than when customers look at a Fiat Ducato van. And even though countless more people look at listings for a Volkswagen Golf, the conversion rate between views and sales for the Fiat Ducato is 40 times stronger.

Analysts believe that this reflects a surge in demand in the run-up to Christmas and in the wake of a record-breaking November for new light commercial vehicle registrations.

This is underlined by the fact that for the overall year to date only one van appears among the fastest 10 conversions from viewing to sale. But since 1st November, four van models dominate the top of the chart for fastest conversions.

There is also often a clear niche effect in the conversion rates between viewings and sales for many other vehicles, with more unusual cars typically converting much more quickly. 

For example, one in every 100 views of the Volkswagen Passat Alltrack - a rare, more rugged version of a more common estate car -  leads to a sale, compared with around 4,500 listing views for a standard Ford Fiesta. People carriers also perform strongly, with customers acting much more decisively to secure a Ford Galaxy than a Ford Focus hatchback. Here, the standard car needs to be seen by 150 times as many customers than for the MPV.

Christofer Lloyd, Editor of, said: "There is a clear niche effect among our customers which manifests through those wanting something slightly outside of the mainstream clearly being determined to secure the deal they want more quickly.

"We saw this earlier in the year when we found that electric vehicles were converting so much more quickly from page views to a sale than even our most popular conventional cars.

"But the most striking example of highly motivated customers at the moment is the determination of van drivers to just get on with making a purchase. We even had one van - a Citroen Nemo - snapped up after being looked at only four times, which may turn out to be our fastest selling vehicle of 2021."

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