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2016 ends with a boost to wholesale and retail used car prices

Used car prices rose in the wholesale and retail markets in December.

The average retail selling price seen on Motors.co.uk rose by 4.5% from November to £13,275 – the highest value ever recorded – and was up 16.6% year-on-year, reflecting a robust consumer market.

In the wholesale market, Manheim recorded an average selling price for used cars of £5,871, which was 4.0% up from the previous month and replicated an uplift seen in December 2015. Average mileage was 61,167, the lowest figure ever recorded by Manheim, and was down by 3.5% from the same month last year.

In the ex-fleet market, the average selling price rose by 2.6% to £9,121, with ex-fleet cars recording their lowest average mileage for six months.

The sold values and for part-exchange cars remained stable month-on-month at £3,702.

Both retail and wholesale volumes were down month-on-month, with a slight increase in days in stock in both markets.

Prestige vehicles were the strongest performers, with prices up 1.8% in the retail market, to £20,104, and values seen at Manheim’s auctions rose by 7.3% from November, to £10,985.

Used diesel car prices increased month-on-month in the wholesale and retail markets by 4.0% and 2.2%, respectively.

At auction, diesel car values were 3.4% down from the same month in 2015.

Petrol car prices were up by 3.6% in the retail market and by 1.6% in the wholesale sector – and were also above their 2015 level in both markets.

On Motors.co.uk, the average selling price of electric cars was up 2% from November and relatively stable compared to 2015.

However, retail days in stock have been consistently falling over the past 12-18 months, indicating a growing consumer demand for plug-in vehicles. Hybrid cars also saw prices rise both month-on-month and year-on-year.

Dermot Kelleher, director of marketing and business intelligence at Motors.co.uk, said: “Our dealer customers enjoyed a strong end to the year, supported by our fast, new mobile-first website, which launched in December and immediately helped boost leads from UK car buyers.”

Daren Wiseman, head of valuations at Cox Automotive UK, said: “Dealers were out in force in December, and while we saw an expected drop in auction volumes, they were paying top money for the stock they wanted in the run-up to Christmas – some of which was being sold rather than held over the holidays. We expect to see a strong start to the year in the wholesale market, which appears to be in rude health.”

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