BCA’s Pulse report for January shows that the headline average value fell from December’s high point, although this was largely due to a changing mix of vehicles as greater volumes of relatively lower value dealer part-exchange cars were sold during the month.
Across the board, used cars averaged £7,137, down by £224 compared to December but significantly ahead by £1,097 (18.1%) compared to January 2012.
Despite the month-on-month fall, average values in January are the highest since Pulse began reporting in 2005.
Both the fleet and dealer part-exchange sectors saw values increase month-on-month, establishing record average values in
BCA’s UK operations director Simon Henstock said: “Although the headline value declined compared to December due to a shift in the mix
of cars sold, January essentially delivered more of the same – a shortage of stock allied to decent levels of demand that generated exceptionally strong prices in the used car market.”
He added: “With stock remaining thin on the ground, buyer demand is focused on the best quality vehicles and this is driving values up.
“Sale conversion rates also rose in January as buyers competed for stock and BCA saw lots of activity in the online arena with nearly a quarter of all vehicles being purchased by internet bidders.”
He added “The rise in average prices at the ‘value-for-money’ end of the market continues unabated and this must be a reflection of the current economic conditions.
“As household budgets remain squeezed, the increased demand from motorists for affordable transport is driving values upwards.”
Fleet cars averaged £8,526 in January, rising by just £17 compared to December but still establishing a new record monthly value.
CAP performance improved by more than two percentage points
to 97.7%, while value against original MRP (Manufacturer’s
Retail Price) improved by half-a-point to 41.48% across the fleet and lease sector.
Year-on-year, the fleet sector recorded a significant £1,091 (12.8%) uplift.
Average age and mileage were slightly up month-on-month, but down year-on-year.
Having improved sharply in December, average part-exchange values improved yet again in January, rising by £16 to a new high of £3,580.
While the rise in December might have been explained by lack of supply, volumes in January returned to more typical levels which suggests strong demand during the month.
CAP performance rose by over one and a half points to 97%.
Year-on-year, values were ahead by £660 – a significant 22.6% uplift compared to January 2012.
Average values fell in the nearly-new sector by £2,054 to £20,283, while performance against CAP Clean improved by a point-and-a-half to 100.8%.
Nearly-new values will always be affected by changing model mix in this low volume sector.