According to Manheim Auctions, while conversion rates are still about 80% to 85%, CAP clean rates have fallen to between 100% to 102% from 103% to 105%.
Senior group auctioneer Andrew Shepherd said: 'Vehicles are being bid on and in today's market, it is nonsense to hang on for an extra £100 or so – it really is a 'bird in the hand' situation at present. The major players are bidding on a 'take-it-or-leave-it' scenario at present as the market swings back in their favour from the vendor.
'As for the major national vendors they really need to be on their toes in the auction halls, ensure they have inspected their vehicles fully for damage, paintwork etc and offset that damage against CAP clean and then value each vehicle individually.'
He said if the vendors were truly in tune with the present market then their conversion rates would remain high.
'The reality is usually staring you in the face as to why retail demand has died down. It is probably a fact that we are now entering autumn and the change from summer has dampened public enthusiasm, lots of people are taking last chance holidays for 2003 and are considering the future expense with Christmas on the horizon.
'All of these reasons, coupled with a general downturn of business for this time of the year does have an affect on the market,' he added.