Even vehicles requiring body or paintwork are finding new homes at the first time of asking, according to Manheim Auctions' senior group auctioneer, Andrew Shepherd. He said: 'Prices in general terms are very high, right across the board and competition among buyers is probably as strong as I have seen it for many years. The vendors are certainly reaping the benefits of this massive demand.'
Shepherd said fleet/leasing and contract hire companies do not have any great volume of vehicles coming back into the market from customers and these companies did not foresee any change in this situation over the next few weeks.
'Personally I would expect that this 'car flow' situation may ease by early April, which should keep the market buoyant during the month of March. In all honesty, I am not sure that today's market would be quite so strong if there was a larger volume of stock to select from,' Shepherd said.
Conversion rates are averaging out at around 90%-95% and auction prices are high at around 105% of CAP predicted prices, the company notes.
It adds that regular buyers are dismissing guide values and valuing and buying on both 'gut feeling' and 'auction hall price dictation'.
Commenting on the market since the introduction of the new V5 legislation, Shepherd said: 'With regard to the V5 situation, it is good to see that so many of our national fleet vendors and major finance companies have really put their admin departments in order and the majority of vehicles being disposed of carry a V5.
'Only a very few are without and the price difference for non V5 vehicles is noticeable. In some cases, these cars are not being bid on at all.'
In conclusion, Shepherd said: 'I would say that the market for the first quarter of 2003 has been very comparable to 2001/2002, but with less stock to choose from, and the second quarter could be interesting should an influx of fresh stock appear on the market.'