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Cox Automotive reports used car prices up as sold volumes fall

Daren Wiseman

Cox Automotive’s wholesale and retail brands has reported a steady month in July, buoyed by increases in year-on-year used car prices despite falling volumes.

The volume of vehicles sold through Manheim’s physical and online car auctions fell 7.1% in July compared to June, although year on year sales were up by 8.3%.

The group claims that the month-on-month decrease was partly due to a 6.9% fall in part-exchange vehicles.

Lower volumes meant that the overall average selling price for cars was up 3.4% from the previous month at £6,319 (a 12.6% year on year increase), signalling a shift to higher value vehicles being sold at auction.

Further reflecting the change in type of vehicle, the average mileage of vehicles sold throughout July was 6.4% lower year on year (down from 64,974 to 59,392).

The trend was reportedley mirrored in ex-fleet sales.

While volumes were down 7.5% month on month, the average sold price in July (£10,023) was 3.4% higher than June, and 2.1% higher than the same period last year.

Dealer Auction also saw average selling prices increase, rising by 17% from the same month last year, to £4,338. The business also saw significant growth in the number of vehicles sold by franchise dealers on its platform, with a year-on-year increase of 11.5% on units sold.

In the retail market, the average advertised price of vehicles sold on throughout July remained steady and prices stayed within 1% of those recorded in June at £13,557, up 8.7% from the same period last year.

Despite announcements from the industry into the future of petrol and diesel vehicles, the introduction of new scrappage schemes and increased interest from customers in the topic, there was been little negative impact on values or volume of petrol and diesel vehicles sold through

NextGear Capital, the wholesale stock funding business, remained static in its average cost of units funded within 1% of previous month.

The number of units funded increased by 2% from the previous month.

Cox Automotive UK’s head of valuations Daren Wiseman (pictured) said: “Most sectors have remained stable throughout July.”

“We also saw 4x4 vehicles beginning to attract the attention of buyers, due to the combination of an earlier than usual seasonal buying pattern around 4x4 and utility vehicles, and a shortage of vehicles in general across other sectors.”

“We also must air a note of caution for the upcoming months.

"The September plate change and the inevitable influx of part exchange and fleet returns it will bring, will increase volume into the market but could also once again put some light pressure on values over the next 6-8 weeks.

“Those who are currently experiencing a strong wholesale market and auction performance should plan for the likely impact of extra volume on sales prices, and recognise the need for realistic reserve setting when it undoubtedly arrives.”

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