The average value of dealer part-exchange vehicles rose from £2,851 in December 2012 to £3,129 in December 2013, despite a rise in average age and mileage, according to Manheim’s latest market analysis.
When looking at values across the whole of 2013, Manheim's data on the performance of dealer stock at auction shows that prices increased by £278 and this strong performance was despite a month-on-month rise in age from 98 to 100 and an increase in average mileage from 77,000 to 77,044.
Daren Wiseman, valuation services manager at Manheim Auctions, said: "December's figures show a surprisingly strong used car market, especially when compared to the tough times still being seen on many high streets.
"Clearly, dealers have learnt their lessons well in the past couple of years and have become much more selective about which models they remarket via auction, which means that prices are remaining strong."
Looking at the market data in more detail shows some interesting trends for dealers.
The average values fell month-on-month for eight of the 10 segments, most notably for the large family models, which saw prices fall from £2,703 to £2,390 between November and December.
However, coupe models appreciated in value from £4,744 to £5,141 over the same period. When looking at the year-on-year figures, values rose for all 10 of the market segments, most notably for coupe models, which saw prices increase by £903, from £4,238 in December 2012 to £5,141 in December 2013.
Wiseman said: "Our latest analysis figures show that, despite sluggish growth in other parts of the retail sector, 2013 has been a good year for a large number of dealers.
"While consumer confidence in some markets remains fragile, the data suggests that new car sales are robust and that dealers are achieving good prices for their part-ex vehicles.
"Looking ahead to 2014, the first six weeks of the year have historically been the busiest, with demand outweighing supply. Already prices are looking strong and trade has started off briskly as we expected. The challenge facing dealers in 2014 is to ensure that they continue to achieve best value for all their part-ex vehicles, not just the best vehicles on the forecourt.
"The secret to success will, therefore, be even tighter control of the 'when, where and how' of remarketing; When is the best time to put a car into auction? Where would be the best location to sell a particular model? And what is the most appropriate remarketing channel; physical auction, online auction, consumer retail or dealer-to-dealer portal? If dealers get this right, then 2014 should again be a good year for motor retail."