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Used car values hit record high in April

Date: 17 May 2016   |   Author:

The value of used cars rose across the board last month, hitting record levels, according to auction service BCA. Values for fleet and lease and part-exchange sectors reached new highs as wholesale buyer demand "increased significantly".

This means that the average value of a used car rose by £317 to £8155 - an increase of 4.0%, while the year-on-year figure jumped by £283, equivalent to 3.6%. The average age of all cars fell from 60.5 months in April 2015 to 58.7 this year, while average mileage dropped from 54,713 to 52,460. Similar trends can be seen in fleet and lease car values with average age falling from 39.7 months to 39.2 months, mileage dropping from 46,044 to 43,847 miles and values increasing from £9700 to £9899.

According to Simon Henstock, BCA chief operating officer, UK remarketing: "Despite the Easter bank holidays typically heralding a slowing in the marketplace, buyer demand was strong across the range of vehicles on offer at BCA in April, reflecting an underlying confidence from the trade to acquire stock".

Henstock predicts that this may not continue into May, however: "We are expecting seasonal pressures to make themselves felt during May as volumes rise and demand typically softens. This is very likely to put pressure on price and conversion rates for volume vendors and means sellers should pay attention to remarketing processes and disciplines in the weeks ahead".

Consequently, Henstock warns that "unless sellers are pricing in line with condition and market sentiment, we may start to see a build-up of unsold stock across the remarketing sector".

Top performers in April were hatchbacks, which jumped 5.6% in value compared with the previous month and MPVs, which increased by 3.4%. Coupes and roadsters, however, fell by 0.8% and 0.2% respectively.