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Cap HPI attributes drop in used car values to lockdown

Date: 01 February 2021   |   Author: Sean Keywood

Vehicle data firm Cap HPI says used car values were down by 1.4% in January - something it directly attributes to the latest coronavirus lockdown.

It says the fall in values by an average of £150 at the three-year point came as retailers reported business levels at between 50-70% of those seen in January 2020, which the volume of cars sold through trade channels was at 60% of that seen last year.

Cap HPI head of valuations Derren Martin said the lockdown had meant a change to the usual picture in January, which normally sees steady values and increasing demand.

He said: "With many buyers on furlough and dealers all stocked up from December, in preparation for January, we now see retailers in less of a mood to buy as their stock isn't flying off the forecourts in the quantities seen last year and there's less of a need to dip into the trade to replenish it. 

"Uncertainty over when this lockdown will end and what happens immediately following that has also dampened their enthusiasm."

According to Cap HPI, MPV values were among the hardest hit, down by 2.2%, while EV and hybrid vehicle prices were also under more pressure than their petrol or diesel equivalents, due to supply levels increasing and an unwillingness by consumers to pay the currently advertised premium for the vehicles over traditional fuel types.

Martin said: "Our live data feeds show there is plenty of fluidity in market values across all segments and whilst the used car market and used car dealers have proved themselves to be a robust part of the economy, prices are not immune to the dynamics of supply and demand, despite remaining open for business virtually. 

"We may well see more of the same until we receive clarity on when lockdown three is likely to end."