Ferocious rises in used car values are beginning to tail off according to the big auction houses.

Both BCA and Manheim announced that prices of ex-fleet and lease vehicles eased in March, but remained higher than last year’s values.

BCA reported a month-on-month fall of 0.7% for general used car prices but said they were still 17% higher than in March 2012.

Operations director Simon Henstock said: “Fleet and lease cars averaged £8,734 in March, a fall of £117 (1.3%) compared to February.

“Year-on-year, the fleet & lease sector recorded a significant £939 (12.0%) uplift.  Average age and mileage were virtually static month-on-month, but down year-on-year.”

Manheim reported a similar performance, describing the used fleet vehicle market as “steady during March despite a spike in age and mileage.”

Daren Wiseman, valuation services manager at Manheim, said: Ex-fleet vehicle values have continued to maintain an average value of 35 per cent over the last twelve months, fuelled by strong average selling prices.

“Looking forward, fleet managers must ensure their remarketing supply chain is as efficient as possible. Getting cars retail-ready quickly and cost effectively will help them to realise best wholesale values are reached at auction.”