Record levels at auction at the end of last year have been superseded in the first quarter of 2007.
According to BCA, values for a three-year-old, 60,000-mile car from the fleet and leasing sector now fetches a record average of £6,913, up £348 (5.3%) on September to December 2006.
In March this year, the figure was above £7,000. Values rose for almost every type of car. The biggest rise was seen in roadsters, which increased by more than £1,000 since the beginning of the year. MPV values remained level – the only sector to do so.
Average values for petrol and diesel continue to converge, although diesels tend to be remarketed with a much higher average mileage. The 5% premium that diesel enjoyed over petrol for much of last year seems to be decreasing, even acknowledging that diesels sell with around 20,000 extra miles on the clock.
Other factors have changed little. Cars are slightly younger at sale than in the last quarter and CAP performance is about the same year on year. Average mileage is around 2,000 miles lower than in the last quarter.
BCA attributes the rise in values to increased demand and relatively thin stocks.
Tony Gannon, communications director at BCA, said: “It is interesting that March recorded the strongest prices, as volumes were beginning to rise. The March plate change stimulated a lot of interest in retail sales and this will have had a pull-through effect into the wholesale market.”
Mr Gannon said the feared slowdown from economic uncertainty, stimulated by rising interest rates and high inflation, had not affected consumer buying.
“In fact, market values have remained relatively strong since the ‘price bubble’ in September 2006, when selected high-demand late-year cars were averaging above list,” he said.