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Used car values surge in November, says BCA

Average values continued to surge to record levels in the used car market according to BCA’s latest Pulse report.

November achieved the highest monthly average since Pulse began reporting in 2005, while year-on-year figures also showed a substantial 16% rise over 2012, underlining the on-going value evolution in the used car market.

November values climbed by £315 (4.3%) to £7,489 and were up by £1,038 (16.1%), year-on-year.  Average mileage continues to fall – down by around 2,500 miles compared to last year – while average age was down by just over a month at 60 months. Average performance against CAP Clean is two points up, year-on-year.

Fleet and lease values posted the fifth record value in the past six months and continue to average well more than £9,000, remaining significantly ahead year-on-year. Dealer part-exchange values reached a record level for the third month running and the seventh time this year, climbing to £3,857 and are also substantially ahead year-on-year. Nearly new values reached a highpoint for 2013, but volumes remain very low and model mix remains the most significant price factor.

Simon Henstock, BCA UK operations director said: "Buyers were out in force in November acquiring stock and BCA recorded some exceptional results around the group. Live Online buyers were very active during the month and our Bid Now/Buy Now channels saw sales volumes climb.

"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’.  

"As in previous months, there was plenty of competition for any vehicle in ready-to-retail condition and cars with a good level of specification attracted a lot of attention from buyers. 4x4s continue to benefit from a seasonal uplift, with the average value climbing by £280 in November to £14,144.

"Put into context, values in November were more than £1,200 ahead of September and that’s before any bad weather has arrived!  Last winter, values peaked at nearly £15,000 so we expect that prices may well rise further.”

Fleet and lease cars averaged £9,301 in November, the highest value on record and an increase of £163 (1.7%) over October. It is the fifth time in the past six months that a record value has been achieved. Values were up by £1,178 (14.5%) year on year.

CAP performance fell back from last month to 96.02% but was ahead year-on-year. Retained value against original MRP (Manufacturers Retail Price) was static compared to October, but two points up year-on-year.

Average part-exchange values reached a record level for the third month running and the seventh time this year, climbing by £17 compared to October to £3,857.

Year-on-year, values were ahead by £716 (22.7%) compared to November 2012 with average age and mileage both down slightly over the year.

CAP performance improved to 94.90% in November, up by half a point compared to October, and well ahead by over three points, year-on-year.Nearly new values improved by over £1,100 in November to reach £21,433 – the highest value recorded this year for nearly-new stock - while performance against CAP Clean was static at 100.76%.

BCA said nearly-new values will always be affected by changing model mix in this low volume sector, but the overall shortage of retail-ready stock is keeping values relatively firm.

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