The average value of used cars sold at auction fell slightly last month (May), the latest BCA Pulse report has revealed.

According to the monthly data, the headline figure fell by £229 from the record value of £9,090 achieved in April, with BCA putting the decrease – the first since December 2016 – down to a greater number of dealer part-exchange vehicles hitting the market during the month.

However, year-on-year values were still ahead – by £600 – thanks to steady levels of demand and a greater number of newer vehicles with lower mileage profiles being available than this time last year.

Ex-fleet and lease values remained at near-record levels last month, with prices averaging £10,446, a small dip of £27 from April’s record-breaking high, while year-on-year values were up by £540.

A similar fall occurred with part-exchange stock, with values dropping by £18 compared with April’s record figure of £4,676, while year-on-year values increased by £168.

Nearly-new car values rose in May by £318 to £18,348; however, year-on-year values were down by £2,148. BCA said this was down to the stock available in the low-volume sector.

“May generally saw a very similar price performance across the board to April, with comparable conditions holding sway,” said Simon Henstock, BCA chief operating officer for UK Remarketing.  “Professional buyers remain very selective, often buying to order and focusing their attention very firmly on the ready-to-retail vehicles that can be churned quickly.

“The best presented and specified cars are selling quickly, and may well exceed guide expectations. The budget end of the market is relatively strong, providing the condition is good and vehicles are sensibly appraised and valued.”

He added: “Buyers have plenty of choice and it is critical to price vehicles correctly at the point of sale. Conversion rates will quickly suffer if vehicles are over-valued and we are working closely with our volume vendors to ensure their stock is competitively priced to sell the first time it is offered.”