Despite this, the market for three-year-old cars remains reasonable, according to the latest quarterly Glass’s Car Market index.
But fleets must ensure their end-of-life cars are in a ready-to-retail condition when they put them through the auction halls, the valuation experts reckoned.
Managing editor Adrian Rushmore said: ‘There is a more-than-adequate supply of cars around the auction halls but there is a scarcity of ready-to-retail cars, which is what the trade is eager to pounce on.
‘Again, this buying behaviour is indicative of a cautious attitude when a retail sale is far from assured.
‘To prevent the auction halls being clogged up with used cars, it has been necessary for vendors to be more realistic with reserves, particularly if what they are offering is no better than run-of-the-mill.’
The guide suggests that used values for mass market cars have fallen by about 3%, but that this was to be expected.
Rushmore added: ‘The premium brands have fared slightly better, apart from the nearly-new area of the market, where there is still some conflict with new car discounts. Niche vehicles, and especially convertibles, have also moved by less than the 3%.
‘Compact MPVs continue to suffer more than any other sector, especially with three-year-old examples.’
On the prospects for the short-term future, Glass’s experts say the market can expect more of the same during August ‘with a fairly quiet retail scene and no strong urge for the trade to source stock.’
‘There is nothing more sinister behind this comment other than that we continue to be in the traditionally quieter period of the year. Beyond this point there is every reason to be positive,’ Rushmore said.
CAR: 01 X Mercedes-Benz E200 Classic Kompressor Auto
Where sold: BCA Brighouse
When: July 8, 2004
Condition: Good (CAP Clean)
How much: £11,400
% of CAP Clean : 144
Sale: Direct from a leasing company
Background: This was a very clean example that had been Smart Prepared before sale and was in ready to retail condition. Finished in a good colour – silver – and desirable with the auto box and in the standard Classic specification. Even at 111,000 miles this is a very attractive motor car and there was strong bidding in the auction hall which resulted in the value soaring £3,500 past CAP Clean