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Mixed messages in used market, says BCA

There are mixed messages from the used car market in September as overall used car values decreased for the first time since last November and price performance varied significantly between the first and second halves of the month, according to BCA.

Supply also increased significantly during the month, for the first time this year.

The overall average value for cars sold in September was £6,217 - just slightly down on the August figure of £6,223.

However, a change in mix was the main driver of this change, as fewer high-value nearly-new cars and greater numbers of lower-value part-exchange cars were sold in September, reducing the average price.

Average values actually increased when split into the three main product sectors - fleet & lease rose by 3.5% to £7,850, nearly-new increased by 2.4% to £18,100 and part-exchange values went up by 4.2% to £2,672.

BCA’s communications director Tony Gannon said: “The headline numbers do not tell the whole story. Internal BCA data shows that there was a marked shift in the market that took place in mid September.

“Average values for the two weeks starting 21st and 28th September fell sharply as did performance against CAP. Weekly fluctuations are not uncommon and so this two week period should be viewed with caution.”

However, the supply of used cars increased dramatically with BCA stock increasing in the month by over 20% - the first such notable increase this year, according to BCA.

“Vehicle entries into auction rose in parallel and conversion rates fell. This is the most noticeable shift in market dynamics since the first days of January. Conversion rates have also been affected by a softening in demand with dealers reporting a reduction in footfall and used car transactions as consumers hesitate in response to higher prices,” said Gannon.

He added: “These factors have combined to take some of the heat out of the market but we are still seeing well-presented and nicely specified cars and vans achieving good results.”

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