Fleet News

Market still strong despite stock surge

THE used car market continued its strong progress throughout April, with prices holding firm despite increasing volumes through the auction halls.

According to Graham Smith, general manager of BCA Blackbushe, the surge in the number of used cars is due to record new car registrations in March.

He said: 'Ex-fleet and company-operated vehicles and dealer part-exchanges have been flowing through auction in very large numbers and the good news is increased volume has had very little effect on prices, particularly in the three- year-old plus sector.

'Conversion rates have dipped slightly as more stock is available, as might be expected, so it is incumbent on sellers to ensure their stock stands out in the crowd.'

Smith reckoned there was little change to the trading trends BCA was seeing in the first quarter of 2004 and demand was still strong for quality cars, particularly in the lower-medium sector.

He said: 'The lower-medium sector generally continues to outperform the rest of the market in terms of retained value and makes for a very attractive commodity at remarketing time.

'The upper-medium sector is a little more price-sensitive, but if buyers see a superbly presented vehicle with all the bells and whistles then bidding can be stratospheric.'

And the used van market is still healthy, Smith claimed.

He said: 'The light commercial market continues to be short of good clean stock with demand far outstripping supply and strong conversion rates – 80 to 90% figures – are frequent and the magic 100% is not uncommon.

'A common thread among the most successful vendors is the investment in pre-sale preparation and sale-day representation – this means the vans look fantastic and decisions on close provisional sales are made instantly on the rostrum.

'This keeps the sale flowing and the interest high.'

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