Average price of used cars at auction soars by more than 75 per cent over lockdown

Time 12 months ago

The value of used cars at BCA rocketed by more than 75 per cent during lockdown, new figures from the remarketing operator show.

Prices paid at auction rose from an average of £4,876 in April to £8,565 in June – when dealers across the UK started reopening their showrooms – making an overall increase of 75.7 per cent.

May’s average figure of £7,536, meanwhile, was 54.6 per cent up on that of April.

The huge average price rise is a combination of the value of cars being sold via the BCA online auction platform increasing, buyers getting more confident buying online and increased demand.

Now that a full quarter of used vehicle pricing data is available, BCA said that it underlined the recovery in values from the price pressure initially experienced as the UK hunkered down for the lockdown.

Source: BCA Valuations

Stuart Pearson, BCA’s UK chief operating officer for remarketing, said: ‘The momentum we reported in May has continued into June and BCA has expanded its online remarketing programme significantly to meet the demand.

‘BCA is running up to 20 sales in parallel at any one time, with auctioneers and clerks, vendor representatives and buyers operating remotely and safely socially distanced.


‘Daily entries are now often exceeding 5,000 vehicles and demand across most sectors is ahead of what we would typically see at this time of year.

‘Our focus has been on creating online events that are targeted to make it easy for customers to find the stock they need, provide maximum choice, along with the ability to scale quickly to meet the demands of the market.’

He added: ‘We have had up to 1,500 buyers logging in for some individual sales, underlining the appetite the market has for the stock on offer at BCA, particularly when this is multiplied across the many concurrent sales taking place each day.

‘In addition, the activity through our fixed-price BCA Buy Now channel and BCA Bid Now timed auctions has significantly accelerated from the period prior to lockdown, with many customers having the confidence to purchase from these channels for the first time.

‘June was notable for the upswing in demand for higher-value, retail-ready vehicles, which significantly influenced the overall average price performance – it was no surprise that this coincided with the reopening of many franchised dealerships and car supermarkets.

‘Demand for lower-value, budget vehicles remained incredibly buoyant throughout the month, maintaining the trend we have seen since the first days of lockdown and resulting in some unprecedented price increases.

‘As the month progressed, most areas of the market stabilised and some of the niche product achieved exceptional prices. With many retailers having furloughed mechanics and body shop staff, it was notable that higher-grade, well-presented vehicles with full histories and clean BCA Assured reports have been at a premium.’

BCA brought in online-only sales in late March, at first just selling via the fixed-price BCA Buy Now platform. Then in April it was the first remarketing operator to bring in a programme of online sales held in real time, with competitive bidding and accessed through BCA Online and the BCA Buyer app.

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It said that used car values and demand from professional buyers rose as the number of digital bidders taking part in the BCA Online sales programme climbed significantly.

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John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

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