Despite record volumes caused by the normal seasonal influences, average values rose by 7.5% to £6,643 in the first quarter of this year, according to auction house Manheim. This figure marks the highest average since Manheim launched its market analysis report in 2004.
The rise follows a very buoyant 2006 in which the traditional end-of-year dip in used prices failed to materialise.
The average selling price for fleet cars rose by £212 or 4% to £5,510, while their average age fell by two months to 42 months.
Average fleet mileage fell for the fourth quarter in a row to 56,974 as company car drivers cover fewer miles before their cars are replaced.
The fleet/lease sector saw a 4% rise in prices, with late-plate models sold by manufacturers rising by more than 6.7%. Dealer selling prices were also up by 3.4%, with every type of car seeing better prices. The executive sector saw average gains of more than £1,000.
Rob Barr, Manheim’s group communications director said: “The used market was very strong throughout last year against a weaker new car market and it continues to strengthen against improved new car sales in Q1 2007 which are up by 3%.
“The fact that used car volumes are up significantly also underlines the confidence and dependency dealers have in used car retail activity.”
A Manheim spokesman said the low fleet mileage could be a question of economics. “More company car drivers are paying for their fuel, so they could be watching their mileage,” he said.