New figures show that the average van wholesale price rose by 5.5% to £2,676 in January compared with December 2008.
This is the first rise since September 2008, and although prices have increased by £140, they still remain 22.3% lower than those recorded in January 2008.
The figures from Manheim Auctions show that, on average, car-vans have risen by 0.6% (£11) in January, while small panel vans rose by 7.1% (£208).
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."
He added that buyer trends showed people were buying for stock rather than just fulfilling orders and as a result auction values and conversion rates improved.
Mr Wright now predicts a more positive outlook for February, but warns that any "reduction in supply may strengthen current market activity and values further".
Copyright © Press Association 2009