Fleet News

High prices show buoyant market

Used fleet cars have been fetching significantly higher prices in 2006 than the previous year.

And the early part of December, traditionally a time when the market cools, is still seeing plenty of activity.

According to research by BCA, the average price between January and November this year was £6,593, compared to £6,224 over the same period in 2005, meaning fleet and lease vendors have averaged an extra £369 for every car sold this year.

In November 2006, prices for the three-year-old, 60,000-mile ‘fleet’ car at auction averaged £6,524 – down just £57 on October’s figure, but £162 up against the same month last year.

In 2005, the fall between October and November was a more substantial £150.

In terms of price, every month in 2006 to date has outperformed its 2005 counterpart.

BCA’s communications director Tony Gannon said: ‘With one month to go, 2006 is shaping up to be a strong year for used car prices, even if volumes are not quite as expected in the wholesale market.’

BCA’s research also found that while diesel cars remain the number one choice for used buyers, values narrowed between petrol and diesel in November, with less than £300 between the average values for fleet and lease-sourced stock.

However, BCA added that on average diesels have covered an additional 17,000 miles at remarketing time and mileage-adjusted values would see the gap increasing.

The strong market means there is still action on the auction floor in early December.

According to Tony Styles, senior valuation editor at CAP Black Book, fleet managers looking to defleet cars now should still find plenty of buyers.

He said: ‘There has been little book movement in December, when prices usually drop, because some of the major buyers are still picking up stock.

‘There’s definitely more market stability at the back end of the year, as buyers are taking a more even approach.

‘Fleet managers looking to liquidate stock should be able to now, although it’s likely the second half of December might well see the market quieten.’

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