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Ex-fleet car values are dropping at auction but trade-ins are holding up

Data from the major motor auctions shows that ex-fleet stock is failing to match the prices of a year ago, although dealer part-exchanges are faring better.

BCA saw its average ex-fleet car value fall £148 or 1.5% in January to £9,440. The total was 0.4% or £38 down year-on-year, despite marginally lower average age static and more than 2,000 fewer miles on average.

Manheim’s Market Analysis for January showed the average selling price of ex-fleet vehicles rose £178 or 2.6% since December to £7,042.

Yet the average value was £316 or 4.3% down year-on-year. That was attributed to a 28% increase in sales volumes over January 2015, fuelled by rising ysupplies of superminis and small hatchbacks.

Daren Wiseman, valuation services manager at Manheim, said: “The age and mileage of ex-fleet cars sold at Manheim continue to fall, with the average in January being 46 months old with under 52,000 miles. These vehicles are being snapped up by dealers to satisfy demand from used car buyers.”

Trade-ins still ahead year-on-year

BCA reported that average values for dealer part-exchanges in January improved after two months of drops, reaching  £4,316, a £68 or 1.6% rise. That figure was still ahead year-on-year by £241 or 5.9%. The average mileage and age of part-exchanges was slightly lower than that of a year before.

Simon Henstock, BCA UK’s chief operating officer for remarketing, said: “Valuing older and poorer quality cars accurately is crucial to tempt the buyers. The price of scrap has fallen and this has effectively removed the safety net for these low value vehicles. At the other end of the market there is pressure on the values of late-plate vehicles due to the attractive deals available and the availability of pre-registered vehicles.”

At Manheim’s auction rooms the average part-exchange value for January was down 1% or £35 month-on-month to £3,479. Year-on-year the average value was 6.5% or £211 up.

Overall, the national value of the average used car was up by £155 in January from December, according to data from the National Association of Motor Auctions (NAMA).

Its report shows that the average sales price rose by 1.7% from £5,534 to £5,689. Compared to January 2014 there was also a rise of 1.7% from £5,592.

Sales volumes for January rocketed  57.5% from December 2015, in the usual seasonal pattern, however year-on-year January’s vehicle auction sales volume was 0.5% down at 110,322 units.

The proportion of vehicles sold first time in January was 84%, 2ppts higher than both a month and a year previously.

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