Figures from an auction house have shown that average van wholesale prices rose by 5.5% in January.
The rise of £140 to £2,676 is the first since September 2008, but compared to the same time last year used van prices were down by 22.3% or £767, meaning van insurance costs were also likely to be less.
Manheim revealed the largest increases in month-on-month values in January included 4x4s which rose by 11.6% or £472 and large panel vans of less than 3.0 tonnes which rose by 10% or £242, compared with December.
Also large panel vans of more than three tonnes increased by 5.9% (£158) and small panel vans by 7.1% (£208). Car vans rose the least at 0.6%, just £11.
However, the car derived van sector fell back, with values dropping by 1% or £18.
Alex Wright, sales director at Manheim Auctions, said: "The buoyant atmosphere in the halls during November and December strengthened during the opening weeks of January this year with good attendances in both the auction halls and online.
"With vendors being more realistic when setting reserves, trade buyers and 'end user' buyers are responding and values have consequently increased.
"During January there was clear evidence that many dealers were buying for stock rather than just fulfilling orders and as a result auction values and conversion rates improved."
© Press Association 2009