The National Association of Motor Auctions (NAMA) reported that used car sales volumes and conversion rates fell in June but prices remained steady through all age segments.
Its members sold 83,637 units, down 19% from May’s 102,860 units. Conversion rates continued to slide during June, to 72%, although NAMA believes the market has reached the seasonal low point for the year.
Justin Lane, NAMA chairman, said: “Activity decreased substantially in June across all segments, although the youngest vehicles fared marginally better. However, volumes remain up on last year, coming in at 16% higher than June 2012.
“It is evident the retail market has now shifted down a gear with both franchised and non-franchised dealers reporting lower sales and a significant downturn in footfall.”
NAMA said the falling conversion rates were probably the effect of vehicle condition and associated refurbishment costs on the buyers’ remit at sales. It also pointed out a lack of variety in the market. “Dealers are finding the used car market increasingly tough, with the vehicles available at auction in poorer conditions meaning higher reconditioning costs at a time when customer footfall has shown signs of decline,” said Lane.
BCA, the UK’s largest motor auction group, reported that its average value for dealer part-exchanges in June fell by 0.7%, or £26, to £3,692. However, that was after a record May value of £3,718, and it remained £818, or 28.4%, up on June 2012. The average age of part-exchanges was almost 2.5 months lower than a year ago at 86.8 months, and mileage was also down to 71,573 from 74,891 in June 2012.
At Manheim, however, the average selling price of June part-exchanges rose for the first time in three months, reaching £2,768, a 1.3% or £37 gain on May’s figure. Year-on-year, the average was 16.6% or £394 higher, irrespective of an average mileage increase of 317 miles.
Simon Henstock, BCA’s UK operations director, said: “The budget end of the market remains strong, particularly in the £2,000-£3,000 price sector, and older, well-presented cars at sensible mileages will also regularly outperform guide values.”
Daren Wiseman, valuations services manager at Manheim Auctions, said the market seems buoyant.
“We’re seeing dealers take a more flexible approach when it comes to selecting the vehicles they put out on their forecourts to attract interest, but inevitably age and mileage still matter, especially in relation to the quality of the vehicle,” he said.