Cap HPI has reported that used car prices have risen an “eye-opening” 1.2% since the start of the year, following a 0.4% increase so far in March.
According to the automotive data experts year-to-date movements in Black Book Live show 2018 is proving to be the strongest year since the daily ‘Live’ product was introduced in 2012.
Average values have increased by 1.2% so far in 2018, compared to a drop of 0.7% last year. The previous strongest year was 2014 when values increased by 0.8%.
Derren Martin, head of current valuations at Cap HPI, said: “An increase in average values in March moving into April is not unprecedented.
“Values have gone up at this time of year in four out of the last five years, with 2017 being the exception. However, it is the cumulative increase since the turn of the year that is the main eye-opener.
“The sectors showing the main areas of pricing strength continued to be city cars, superminis and lower medium-sized cars, while convertibles are behaving as they normally do at this time of year, leading up to the spring and summer.
“The increase in demand for smaller vehicles is partly as a result of consumers downsizing but also a desire for petrol vehicles.”
Cap HPI found that, despite the recent negativity surrounding diesel, the average price of a diesel vehicle also went up in value during March.
While smaller diesel cars are generally not as popular as their petrol counterparts, demand for larger models – such as the BMW 3-Series, Volkswagen Passat and certain Hyundai i40s – remain healthy, it said.
Martin added: “There has been a noticeable increase in used car retail activity. While there is still a variety of new car finance offers available, they are not quite as attractive as they once were.
“The discerning buyer can get a used car deal, either PCP or outright purchase, that more than satisfies their requirements.”
Older SUVs were in high demand in the days leading up to and following the recent snowfall, said Martin.
He added: “Expect to see this demand transposed by demand for convertibles as we head into spring.”