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NAMA survey predicts rising values for used hybrid vehicles

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The National Association of Motor Auctions’ (NAMA) monthly market attitude survey has indicated that many remarketing specialists anticipate a rise in the value of used hybrid vehicles during January.

While the survey indicated that operators expected an increase in volumes in the early part of 2020 – a trend already demonstrated by record volumes at BCA’s January auctions – just under 40% of respondents predicted that hybrid values will increase, a jump from only 11% last month.

Plug-in hybrids saw a more modest 23% of respondents believe they could increase in value, but the combined figures of all hybrids may suggest a strengthening in value for the category, NAMA concluded.

The comments follow last week's findings from Autorola, which revealed that prices of used hybrids and electric cars reached a record level in Q4 2019.

It reported that average online prices had risen to £19,021 in Q4 from £12,594 in Q3 on the back of a strong demand, low supply and a fall in average age and mileage from 43 months in Q3 to 21 months in Q4.

Commenting on more general market trends, head of NAMA, Louise Wallis, said: “The first quarter of the year usually sees an active auction market and we expect 2020 to follow a similar pattern.

“Auctions are expecting vehicle volumes and conversion rates to increase this month but with values generally remaining stable, this should mean that demand for the extra volume should be met.”

Auction volumes are expected to increase in January, according to 53% of survey respondents, with only 20% predicting a fall.

Conversion rates are strongly favoured to increase, with 73% believing they will be on the up, and no responses predicted a decrease.

First time conversion rates are also expected to improve by 67% those who completed the survey.

The strengthening of first-time conversion rates indicates that demand for stock will be strong in January, with much of it being sold at the first time of asking.

Vehicle values are again expected to remain stable, with 77% of respondents predicting Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) will remain similar to December and 67% predicting the same with diesel.

No respondent suggested BEV values would fall and only 13% thought diesel values would decline.

NAMA found that many expected the value and sales of Euro 6 vans to remain robust with “every respondent expecting values to increase or remain steady”, it said.

NAMA added: “Demand remains strong for these vehicles as drivers and fleets continue to move from their pre-Euro 6 vans and will likely continue throughout the year.

“Pre-Euro 6 vans value expectations are expected to stay the same or increase, with 47% of respondents believing they will stay the same, and 33% believing they will increase, mostly due to the remaining demand outside of major cities.”

Vans have been identified as a key source of growth by many car retailers in 2020.

While the UK’s new car market declined 2.4% by volume last year, the van market increased by the same proportion, registrations data published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) revealed.

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