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Auction houses feeling optimistic about fleet remarketing

Date: 21 February 2012   |   Author: Hugh Hunston

The values of fleet and lease sector vehicles going through BCA auctions fell by nearly 3% in January 2012 compared with the previous month.

However, the sector suffered a less severe overall drop than the average 6.3% decline experienced across all sectors, including retail, in the company's network. Furthermore, fleet and lease values actually show a rise of 1.1% year-on-year.

BCA's communications director Tony Gannon said: "With reasonably consistent demand, prices should be maintained at an acceptable level over the coming weeks."

His cautiously optimistic forecast was endorsed by SMA Vehicle Marketing, which reported record unit sales volumes and conversion levels across five English and Scottish auction centres generating record activity.

SMA's managing director Bob Anderson reported that several recent auctions had achieved 100% conversion levels, which he said "clearly indicates the interest in well-prepared stock".

BCA's monthly Pulse survey reported that the 2.9% January decline in fleet and lease values, down £223 compared with December, resulted in an average auction price being paid across the sector of £7435, up £176 on January last year.

Despite the decline in average prices for fleet and lease, there was a 70% rise in the volume of cars sold compared with December 2011.

Meanwhile, Manheim's monthly market analysis underlined the appeal of superminis and small hatchbacks from fleet disposals, as volumes for the two sectors combined climbed by 5% to 22% of the business last month when compared with a year ago.

This was against the background of a 0.5% or £33 rise in fleet vehicle values to £6157 versus January 2011, and 10.7% against December of the same year.

Upper medium cars shrank by 5% to 29% of volume while lower cars remained static at 29% when compared with January last year.

Supermini values registered a 14.7% rise to a £4269 coinciding with a fall in their average age by 10 months to 38 months, while small hatchbacks enjoyed an 8.2% increase to £4685 on a higher average mileage of 40,558 miles.