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BCA questions ‘sensationalist’ used car market coverage

BCA chief operating officer, Stuart Pearson

BCA has questioned “sensationalist” media coverage of used car price growth, arguing that wholesale values have only seen subtle changes.

The remarketing giant’s chief operating officer, Stuart Pearson, said that its data showed that vehicles aged three to five years saw an average price movement of 3ppts during June, with much of that shift coming early in the month.

And Pearson questioned “the perception is that values have suddenly leapt by several percentage points”.

His comments follow a Cap HPI monthly market overview which suggested wholesale used car price rises had continued with a 13.5% increase in the past three months.

Derren Martin, Cap HPI’s head of valuations UKIts head of valuations, Derren Martin, again suggested that the recent price rises seen in the market were "unprecedented".

Pearson said: “Over the last few weeks, we have seen buyers and sellers trying to manage the rapid and seemingly erratic price increases across the marketplace which can be challenging, particularly with sensationalist headlines and monthly price guides reflecting movements as significant rises”

“The perception is that values have suddenly leapt by several percentage points. The reality is that values have been more stable in the last few weeks of June than since the easing of the winter lockdown. Daily price movements – as highlighted by BCA Valuations – are often quite subtle.” 

Pearson conceded that demand in the used car remarketing sector’s three-to-five year age bracket was “very robust”, adding that new car supply pressure and competition for stock had driven the price increases.

He said that multi-tiered pricing structures were in play across the wider used car marketplace, however. 

BCA Valuations shows that price movements for vehicles aged over ten years across the month of June had been significantly more stable, with just a 3ppt improvement, he said.

Person added: “The reality is that a comparable make and model is worth a very similar value on the last day of June as on the first day of July.

“Supply and demand will always influence values, with the best quality stock continuing to attract premium prices and sellers needing to pay close attention to the condition of older stock.”

Pearson concluded: “The market has seen record price increases over the last few months however all things considered, it has been remarkably stable in the latter part of June with buyers and sellers finding a rhythm to their interactions.

“BCA’s Decision Intelligence team will continue to keep abreast of the current evolving picture in the wholesale sector and work closely with our sellers to ensure that their pricing strategies are realistic and in tune with market sentiment, and that our buyers have everything they need to make informed decisions when bidding.”

Automotive sales consultant Andrew Banning Earlier this month automotive sales consultant Andrew Banning suggested that increased competition from the likes of Cazoo, Carzam and BCA owner Constellation Automotives’ own cinch online used car sales offering were playing a large part in the current perceived shortage of vehicles to fill retail forecourts.

The former Cooper BMW, Ocean Automotive and Lexus UK, employee – now owner of Andrew Banning Sales Solutions – asserted: “Online independent used car retailers have grasped that if you control access to used car stock then you control access to both used car customers and the market.”

A fortnight ago BCA owner Constellation Group acquired Rockingham Motor Speedway for £80 million to expand its used car stocking and preparation capacity and drive the further growth of cinch.

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