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Aston Barclay reports 8.5% rise in 2019 used car values

Martin Potter, Aston Barclay managing director

Aston Barclay has reported an 8.5% rise in the value of used cars in 2019 as every single market segment delivered a price increase.

The latest Aston Barclay Market Insights report said that the “UK used market finished Q4 2019 as strongly as it has started 2020” after seeing the fleet sector return a 8.4% rise (£763) in average prices – from £9,036 in Q3 to £9,799 in Q4 – as the remarketing specialist saw a third consecutive fall in average mileage to 47,000 miles, while retaining an average age of 42 months.

Prices returned to the “pre-book drop” levels of Q1 towards the end of 2019 following three consecutive quarterly price falls in 2019, it said.

Martin Potter, Aston Barclay’s auctions managing director, said: “Every sector saw an increase in demand and prices which was further galvanised by the December election result which finally put the Brexit indecision to bed.

“The market looks set for a positive Q1 and it will be interesting to see how the new plate-change in March alters the new car used car equilibrium, if at all.

“Diesel prices made a welcome comeback in Q4 and shows how resilient demand for the fuel is, particularly in the family hatchback and larger SUV sectors.”

The Aston Barclay Market Insights report showed that the late and low sector reported a record 2019 high in Q4, with prices rising 2.8% (£420) to £15,158 from Q3 (£14,738), helped by a fall in average age and mileage to 21 months and 19,250 miles.

Overall prices in the sector rose by 6.4% during 2019 as dealers reported strong demand for 18 to 24-month-old used stock.

Used diesels saw an 8.8% price rise (£656) from £7,390 in Q3 to £8,046 in Q4, while used petrol vehicles rose by £257 (Q3 £4,213), to £4,470.

Alternatively, fuelled vehicles (AFV), meanwhile, reported their first quarterly price fall of 2019 by £637 (£14,012 in Q3 to £13,375 in Q4) mainly down to the year finishing with a poor and depleted mix of stock.

The report said that prices across all three dealer part exchange sectors had also risen, with young market stock aged 55 to 78 months rising the highest, 8.5% (£483) from £5,670 in Q3 to £6,153 in Q4.

Last year saw a number of developments in the Aston Barcaly business.

In May the business launched its new E-Xchange wholesale online used vehicle remarketing platform.

Lindop Toyota, Quest Motor Group, Greenhous and Imperial Commercials are among the first retailers to make use of the new service, which gives car dealers the ability to sell unwanted or duplicate used stock at the push of a button.

In August the business appointed former Manheim director Richard Cross as its new group sales director ahead of a wider leadership reshuffle in October.

“We have seen the used vehicle market change dramatically during 2019 which has led to increased challenges for our vendor and buyer customers,” said Neil Hodson, Aston Barclay’s group chief executive, at the time.

“These changing market dynamics, combined with our own regular internal review process, has seen us introduce a flatter management structure to ensure we continue to enhance our agile and proactive approach to meeting our customers’ needs.”

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