Andrew Shepherd, senior group auctioneer at Manheim, reports there has been no pre-Christmas lull in business.
He said: 'The market this week has still been quite bright for the time of year and it looks as though my prophecy that trade will continue to flourish right up to Christmas will come true. Many of the major buyers are in the market to buy stock and ensure that they have an abundance of vehicles to satisfy potential retail buyers between Christmas and the New Year.'
BCA's Tom Madden added: 'December has been the month of 'where have all the cars gone?' and this shortage of the best quality stock is helping to maintain prices right up until Christmas.
'Our branded sales programme of fleet and lease cars has continued to return great results, with high conversions and strong price performance underlining yet again that fleet cars really are the jewels in the crown of the used car market.'
Madden continued: 'There are no signs that next year's market will behave very differently from this year and strong demand will keep prices firm from January through to April/May time.'
However, Shepherd warned there were signs there would be a lack of supply for the first couple of weeks of the New Year. He added: 'The buyers realise that what seem to be expensive cars now are definitely going to be more expensive come 2003.
'The best sellers are still low mileage, good quality, metallic colours with service history and definitely V5s of any make and model. These are commanding high prices as the buyers pick and choose the best cars.'