Strong competition for used car stock saw prices rise by an average of 1.7% at auction, according to the monthly BCA Pulse report.
As new car registrations stuttered to a decline of more than 15% the average value of a used car sold at BCA rose by £170 compared to February, reaching a headline figure of £9,668 – the second highest on record.
Compared with the same period a year ago average used car values are up by £818 (9.2%), with average age and mileage continuing to reduce.
Stuart Pearson, BCA’s managing director of UK Remarketing, said: “Buyer demand was strong in March, resulting in average values reaching record levels and excellent conversion rates around the 24-strong BCA network.
“Reflecting seasonal patterns, we saw greater volumes from both fleet/lease and dealer part-exchange sources and this uplift is likely to continue in the weeks ahead.”
According to BCA Pulse, values for fleet and lease cars reached a record high of £11,122 in March, with values up by £667 (6.3%) year-on-year as age remained static and mileage declined.
Average dealer part-exchange values reached record levels for the second month running, meanwhile, rising by £71 (1.4%) to £4,895 in March. Year-on-year values were ahead by £301, representing a substantial 6.5% uplift.
Values for nearly-new vehicle values fell to £18,869, from February’s year high figure of £19,751, but were up year-on-year.
Pearson added: “With Easter now behind us, we expect demand to be maintained well into April as professional buyers compete for stock.
“Retail used car activity is reportedly very strong, as buyers look for good value used cars and that is being helped by the increased availability of finance in the used sector.”