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BCA Pulse: Values soar for used vehicles

The used vehicle market continues to record strong average values according to the latest Pulse Report issued by BCA today.

Pulse data for Quarter 1, 2007 shows values for the three-year-old, 60,000 mile fleet and lease car averaged £6,913 – a new quarterly record value.

Values in March approached the levels recorded last September and broke the £7,000 barrier again.

The rise was seen in all sectors except MPVs where values remained static. The average values for petrol and diesel continue to converge, although diesels are remarketed at a much higher average mileage.

Average part-exchange values increased for the second quarter running and at £3,182 are at record levels in the first quarter of 2007.

Values have pushed through the £3,000 barrier for only the third time and the rise of £146 since the turn of the year is equivalent to a 4.8% increase. Year on year, both age and mileage have gone up, and average P/X cars are now nearly three months older and 2,000 miles more travelled than they were a year ago. CAP performance has increased by nearly two points against last quarter.

Both fleet/lease and part exchange values followed similar patterns – price performance in January was strong and, while February flagged a little, March values rallied to record levels. All three months outperformed the same months the previous year.

Fleet/lease market Q1 2007

Period Age/months Mileage Sale price % Vs CAP
Q1 2007 37.96 59,434 £6,913 97.3
Mar 2007 38.36 60,046 £7,153 97.4
Feb 2007 37.84 59,103 £6,729 97.5
Jan 2007 37.72 59,200 £6,867 97.2

Source: BCA

Part-Exchange market Q1 2007

Period Age/months Mileage Sale price % vs CAP
Q1 2007 82.67 67,506 £3,182 94.2
Mar 2007 81.54 66,200 £3,278 94.1
Feb 2007 83.3 68,280 £3,107 94.9
Jan 2007 83.38 68,286 £3,142 93.6

Source: BCA

#AM_ART_SPLIT# Heavy demand allied to relatively thin stocks earlier in the year will have helped values to firm. However, by the end of the first quarter volumes had significantly increased which indicates demand is driving values firmly upwards.

Tony Gannon, BCA’s communications director, said: “It is interesting that March recorded the strongest prices, as volumes were beginning to rise. The March plate-change stimulated a lot of interest in retail sales – both new and used – and this will have had a pull-through effect into the wholesale market.

“Countering this, an amount of economic uncertainty stimulated by rising interest rates, high inflation and might have been expected to dampen consumer buying of big-ticket items, but this does not seem to be the case in the first quarter of 2007.

“In fact market values have remained relatively strong since the ‘price bubble’ in September 2006, when selected high-demand late-year cars were averaging above list.”

Looking at the diesel/petrol splits in the fleet market highlights that the 5% price premium diesel enjoyed over petrol for much of last year is eroding, even while acknowledging that diesels average a 20,000 higher mileage at remarketing.

In Quarter 1, 2007 average diesel values rose by £284 to a record quarterly value of £6,991. The increase followed two consecutive falls in average quarterly value for diesels.

Petrol values also reached record levels, averaging £6,830 in Q1 07. This represented a rise of £437 over the previous quarter and is the closest petrol values have come to parity with diesel values in the past 15 months.

Fleet and lease sourced diesels come to the market at a much higher average mileage, and mileage-adjusted values would see a more significant price differential. However, the price trend clearly seems to indicate a narrowing in values between petrol and diesel. Differences in age and CAP Performance between fleet/lease petrol and diesel cars were negligible in Quarter 1, 07.

Diesel fleet cars

Period Age/months Mileage Sale price % vs CAP
Q1 2007 38.40 68,322 £6,991 97.3
Q4 2006 38.30 69,043 £6,707 96.4
Q3 2006 37.26 67,285 £6,796 98.1
Q2 2006 36.97 66,384 £6,852 95.9
Q1 2006 37.05 67,821 £6,746 96.7

Source: BCA

Petrol fleet cars

Period Age/months Mileage Sale price % vs CAP
Q1 2007 37.32 47,307 £6,830 97.4
Q4 2006 38.97 51,270 £6,393 96.7
Q3 2006 38.69 50,556 £6,392 98.1
Q2 2006 37.64 49,705 £6,388 97.0
Q1 2006 36.94 48,761 £6,304 97.9

Source: BCA

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