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Used car prices rise 1.7% in July

Simon Henstock

Demand for coupe’s and cabriolets cooled as the summer stocking season ended with a 1.7% rise in overall used car prices, BCA has revealed.

The monthly Pulse report revealed that the headline average value of a used car rose from £8,198 in June to £8,341 in July, an increase of £143 (1.7%) and the highest average monthly value on record. 

Both fleet/lease and dealer part-exchange values remained at near record levels, meanwhile, with nearly-new values also on the increase – from £20,042 to £21,339 month-on-month.  Year-on-year, the headline figure was up by £635, equivalent to a 8.2% increase in average values.

Model mix had a role to play as higher value ex-fleet stock increased market share over the month, according to BCA chief operating officer UK remarketing, Simon Henstock.

He said: “Supply and demand remain well balanced, with conversion rates improving in July, despite the typical summer slowdown the market experiences once the summer holiday period begins.”

Henstock added: “Sales have been well attended throughout BCA's 23 strong auction network in July and online bidding has been strong, but it is noticeable that buyers are being more selective about condition, preparation and presentation. 

“To maintain desirability and sales performance, vendors can use SMART repairs for those cars that have suffered low level cosmetic damage in the shape of car park dents, stone chips and damage to alloy wheels.

“Current market conditions make it even more important to ensure vehicles are properly appraised and sensibly reserved.  There is little to be gained by over valuing cars, particularly when there is increasing competition for the buyer’s wallet.”

Values for volume stock generally increased by a small margin, BCA reported, with only coupes and convertibles falling back during the month.

Values in the fleet and lease sector were effectively static in July, down by just £4 at £9,665 compared to £9,669 the previous month.

Retained value against original MRP (Manufacturers Retail Price) fell to 41.1% in July from 41.93% in June.  Year on year values were static, with age falling by one month and mileage down by 3,000. 

Average values for dealer part-exchange cars were also flat, down by just £12 over the month at £4,495 - but still the second highest average value on record for dealer PX stock.  Year-on-year values were ahead by £217 (5.0%), with age static and mileage declining.  

Nearly-new values improved in July to £21,339 from £20,042 in June, although model mix has a significant effect in this low volume sector.

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