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NAMA: Used car market analysis, September 2011

Average values of used cars sold at auction across the board in August increased from £4,450 to £4,625, equivalent to a 4% increase, according to the National Association of Motor Auctions’ (NAMA) monthly market report.

Values for fleet cars recorded a 2% increase, with dealer part exchanges decreasing by 1%.

Year-on-year, the average price of cars at auction has decreased by 4% from £4,625 this August compared to £4,800 a year ago.

Last month NAMA reported a significant slowdown in the rate of price falls and added that a sense of order had returned to the market.

The missing part of this commentary is that the supply of used cars arriving at the auctions also reached the lowest point of the year so far.

This is a normal feature of the market at this time of year but there was a sense that the overall numbers may have been marginally lower than the previous August.

NAMA chairman Andrew Hulme said: “While it is encouraging to report transaction prices slightly higher in August, used car retailers continue to report challenging conditions.

The auction and wholesale market remains finely balanced between supply and demand and it remains important that vendors remain vigilant, flexible and pro-active throughout autumn as the increase in stock from fleet and dealer sectors shifts the supply/demand balance.

“Grade 1 and 2 condition vehicles will continue to be in demand but lower grade vehicles that require rectification, with incomplete histories, accessories or specifications will continue to be picked over and priced accordingly by increasingly selective buyers.”

Hulme believes the fresh stock entering the market represents a great opportunity for professional buyers to acquire stock for retail sale.

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