Figures released by auction giants BCA and Manheim have shown that the average price for fleet cars has stayed level.
BCA claims fleet cars have been averaging just over £6,000 since the start of 2004, only dipping below that figure briefly at the end of 2004.
According to Pulse, BCA’s quarterly report on the state of the used car market: ‘Over the 24-month period, the relative stability of the marketplace continues to make itself apparent, certainly in the fleet and part exchange sectors, with both drawing fairly straight lines across the chart.
‘This is despite generally difficult economic conditions for those involved in retailing big ticket items, and once again highlights the strength and depth of the used car market.’
Manheim’s Market Analysis report found that in the last quarter of 2005, prices in the fleet sector held steady while the values of nearly-new cars were hit by incentives on new cars as carmakers tried to stir up activity in the retail sector. It claims the average value of younger vehicles supplied by the manufacturer sector fell by 4.3% from 2004 levels.
Rob Barr, Manheim’s group communications and planning director, said: ‘We’ve seen downward pressure on late-year low-mileage vehicle prices and it is possible that the disappointing levels of new car sales in 2005 may result in further increases in depreciation during 2006, as the retailers target the consumer with aggressive new car offers.’
However, BCA disagreed, claiming that prices in the nearly-new sector were markedly improved.
It said: ‘The nearly-new market continues its growth in average price and is a significant £2,000 above where it was two years ago. It remains to be seen if this is sustainable into 2006 as the manufacturers seek to entice the private buyer back to the new car market with incentives on finance and specification.’