Average used car values fell slightly in December but remain well ahead year-on-year, according to BCA’s latest Pulse Report.
A change in market sector mix and model mix contributed to the decline in the headline value as a larger percentage of dealer part-exchange cars were sold in December.
This also resulted in average mileage and age rising marginally over the month. Despite the small monthly fall, December’s average value was the second highest on record.
The headline average value of a used car fell to £8,007, down by £68 (0.8%) compared to November, with performance against CAP Clean improving by nearly a point to average 96.04%.
Year-on-year values remained ahead by £434, equivalent to a 5.7% uplift, with both average age and mileage continuing to decline.
Fleet and lease cars averaged £9,126 in December, a fall of £507 (5.2%) compared to November – a result of many corporate vendors holding prime stock for the New Year when values typically rise. Average age and mileage rose over the month, while retained value against original manufacturer's retail price fell to 40.08%. Average values were down by £36 (0.3%) compared to December 2013.
CAP Clean performance was down by three-quarters of a point, year-on-year. Every month in 2014 recorded a significantly higher average value compared to the same month in 2013.
Simon Henstock, UK operations director at BCA, said: “December is a short month for trading and both the market sector mix and model mix tend to change quite significantly.
“Fleet and lease stock is typically in more limited supply as the year-end approaches, while dealers continue to sell part-exchange vehicles as a result of their ongoing retail activity.
“There is still a competitive trading environment in December as professional buyers look to source the most attractive, retail-ready stock to meet on-going customer demand, while also keeping an eye out for stock suitable for the January upturn.”
Henstock added: “The digital markets remained very active in December and BCA offered hundreds of vehicles between Christmas and New Year via the Buy Now digital channel, with a simple ‘click to buy’ process.
“The early days of trading in 2015 have been exceptionally busy and with the new plate on March 1 only weeks away, we are entering one of busiest periods for the motor trade.
“Sourcing and securing those best quality retail cars will be critical for professional buyers in the weeks ahead and buying the right stock at a good price and in a timely fashion is crucial.”