Figures from the remarketing firm BCA suggest that, year on year, prices for used cars are still rising – up 4.9 per cent on Q3 2011. Prices were up 5.5 per cent against Q2, as well – a jump considerably larger than the same time two years ago.
Fleet and lease values are up 12.6 per cent year on year – now at an average of £8,177 – while part-exchanges were on average worth 11.2 per cent more than last year.
BCA’s communications director, Tony Gannon, suggests a simple lack of supply is the reason for the rise. ‘With on-going economic pressure, rising costs and a relatively weak retail environment, it might seem counter-intuitive to report that used car values continue to climb year-on-year,’ he said.
‘However, supplies reaching the wholesale used car market are quite significantly down on the peak seen four to five years ago and there is a real shortage of good quality, ready to retail used cars. This is leading to fierce competition and generally rising values for the best examples reaching the remarketing arena.’
Fleet and lease values in particular, says BCA, represent the best example of the rises – increasing steadily over recent quarters, and ‘reflecting the structural shortage of supply’ across the market. In fact, both part exchange and fleet values in Q3 of 2012 represented the highest on record at the firm.
‘This stock shortage is a long term issue,’ said Gannon, ‘and is unlikely to change until new car volumes pick up significantly and the economy improves enough to generate a bigger churn of vehicles in the marketplace. This doesn’t diminish the effect of the typical seasonal pressures, of course, which have seen values and conversions weaken in early October.’