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Fleet used car prices surged during 2020 despite late drop-off, Aston Barclay reports

Date: 13 January 2021   |   Author: Sean Keywood

Average used fleet car prices ended 2020 12.1% higher than at the start of the year, according to auction firm Aston Barclay.

Its latest price insight report shows that although the average price of the vehicles fell by 4% to £11,186 during the final quarter of the year, they still ended £1,213 higher than in Q1.

It was a year of strong price growth across the used car market, with petrol car values rocketing by 37.6% to finish at £6,152, while diesels were up by 12.7% to £9,070.

Average prices for alternatively fuelled vehicles rose to £14,208, a 6.2% increase on the start of the year - an increase Aston Barclay has warned makes the vehicles look overpriced.

It says there is evidence this is impacting on sales, with up to four in ten of the vehicles now remaining unsold at auction, and it is recommending prices are revised downwards.

Aston Barclay managing director - customer Martin Potter said: "Unsold AFV stock typically runs at 5% but we're now seeing some numbers between 20-40% for some fleet vendors. 

"This reinforces our concerns for some months that this stock is overpriced in comparison to equivalent petrol and diesel models."

Moving into 2021, Aston Barclay expects the latest Covid-19 lockdown to keep prices high.

Potter said: "With the volume of part exchanges coming into the market impacted, we believe prices will remain strong during Q1 due to stock shortages. This is likely to continue until we see the new 71-plate change in March feed more stock into the market.

"It also may be late in 2021 before we see the fleet sector volumes stabilise on the back of the constant contract extensions experienced since the first lockdown in March 2020. This should keep prices relatively stable certainly in the first quarter of 2021."