19 Mar 15

Approaching summer pushes used car prices upwards

Figures  from Manheim's monthly Market Analysis, reveal that the average selling price of part-exchange vehicles rose to £3,536 in the UK inFebruary –  8.2% higher than the previous month. This rise in value follows a slight decrease in both average age and mileage of cars at auction; dropping to 102 months and 78,225 miles respectively. Looking at the figures in closer detail, the data highlights an increase in average selling price in five of the 10 vehicle segments analysed in the report. The biggest leap in value was found in the Supermini category. Impressive increases in selling price were also seen in the small hatchback and medium family car segments.

This rise in value could be indicative that the hotly anticipated warmer weather is finally on its way, with buyers rushing to summer-season vehicles. Alongside this, 4x4 models, which have enjoyed extensive popularity and top-draw value throughout winter, are now seeing their values return to expected seasonal norms.

Daren Wiseman (photo), valuation services manager at Manheim, commented: "Like many retail sectors, purchasing habits in the part-ex market are likely to be influenced by seasonal changes. We've certainly seen that in February, with the promise of spring weather encouraging buyers to stock up on an array of vehicles that traditionally do well at this time of the year. Dealers should ensure they know the kind of vehicles their customers want and match stock accordingly. Going forward, I'd expect March's plate change to impact upon part-ex values, as we typically see an increased volume of good quality, old-reg vehicles enter the market place. Usually, this influx starts at the end of March, spreading out through April, so we could see a significant increase in the amount of vehicles at auction next month. More volume means more choice for buyers so to make your stock stand out, I'd make condition a top priority. It's been said before but condition is increasingly a key factor in determining a vehicle's value. Easter tends to be a busy holiday for the part-ex sector so my advice to dealers is if they want the best possible price, they should ensure their stock is in the best possible condition”.

Authored by: Tim Harrup