While NAMA’s nationwide data wasn’t available as AM went to press, figures from the two motor auction giants, BCA and Manheim, suggest a mixed outcome in November’s used car wholesale market.
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|♦ BCA says average part-ex value in November set a company record for the seventh time this year|
Part-exchange cars are still seeing increasing prices, as are ex-company cars at BCA, but Manheim reports a dip in values for its ex-fleet vehicles. Could this be the start of the much mooted market realignment?
At BCA, its average value for dealer part-exchanges in November set a company record for the seventh time this year. Prices averaged £3,857, £17 higher than the October figure. Year-on-year, the average was up £716, or 22.7%, as average age and mileage were both slightly lower.
At Manheim’s auction rooms, the average part-exchange value also smashed records in November with a £3,162 peak, a £263 increase month-on-month. It coincided with a one-month drop in age. Year-on-year, the average value was £358 up and mileage was down marginally.
BCA’s UK operations director Simon Henstock said traders were “out in force” during November to acquire stock and BCA recorded some exceptional results around the group. Activity in its online auction and buy-now channels was also strong.
Daren Wiseman, valuations services manager at Manheim Auctions, said: “The record values in November reflect a continued strong demand for used cars, which continue to keep average part-exchange values high as buyers opt for used models over new.
“However, this has to be offset by the continuing trend of a shortage of good quality, retail-ready stock. In a number of cases, dealers have been holding on to the better quality part-exchanges to push through their own forecourts.
“We expect to see new car part-exchanges to enter the wholesale market, which may affect values in the run-up to Christmas.”
Manheim noted that the average value for 4x4s rose £1,593 or 26.9%.
Retail stock acquisition
Manheim’s Market Analysis for November recorded a £131 drop in the average price for ex-fleet vehicles sold at its auctions.
However, at £7,593, the value remains 18.4%, or £1,180, higher year-on-year. Manheim said the 1.7% decline on the previous month was expected due to the seasonality of the market.
MPVs saw a notable increase of £1,357 to £8,360, however mini-MPVs dropped in value by £396.
Manheim’s Wiseman said: “We would typically expect values to fall at this time of year, so this slight drop during November is no surprise.”
He warned dealers that waiting for values to bounce back during January could be a risky strategy as Manheim’s latest data suggests the opposite will happen.
Ex-fleet vehicles at BCA’s auction halls in November bounced back after October’s drop and set a new record average of £9,301, a £163 or 1.7% increase. Year-on-year, ex-fleet cars were up £1,178 or 14.5%.
BCA’s Henstock said: “Professional buyers will no doubt remember that average values rose very sharply last December due to the shorter trading month and ongoing dearth of retail-quality stock, so there was an element of ‘getting ahead of the game’.”
Competition remained strong for retail-ready vehicles and cars with good levels of specification attracted a lot of attention from the trade, he added.
Values of 4x4s rose £280 to £14,144, and last winter the values peaked at £15,000, so BCA expects prices may rise further.