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Used car prices ‘make strong start’ to 2020

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The UK used market finished Q4 2019 as strongly as it has started 2020, according to the latest Aston Barclay Market Insights report.

Every single market segment monitored by Aston Barclay saw a price rise in Q4.

The fleet sector recorded a healthy 8.4% rise (£763) in average prices from £9,036 in Q3 to £9,799 in Q4, supported by a third consecutive fall in average mileage to 47,000 miles, while retaining an average age of 42 months.

Prices returned to Q1 levels following three consecutive quarterly price falls in 2019.

Meanwhile, the late and low sector reported a record 2019 high in Q4, with prices rising 2.8% (£420) to £15,158 from Q3 (£14,738), helped by a fall in average age and mileage to 21 months and 19,250 miles.

Overall, prices in the sector rose by 6.4% during 2019 as dealers reported strong demand for 18-24 month old used stock.

Used diesels saw an 8.8% price rise (£656) from £7,390 in Q3 to £8,046 in Q4, while used petrols rose by £257 (Q3 £4,213), to £4,470.

Alternative fuel vehicles, meanwhile, reported their first quarterly price fall of 2019 by £637 (£14,012 in Q3 to £13,375 in Q4) mainly down to the year finishing with a poor and depleted mix of stock.

Prices across all three dealer part exchange sectors rose with young market stock aged between 55-78 months - rising the highest - 8.5% (£483) - from £5,670 in Q3 to £6,153 in Q4.

The positive used car trends carried on into January with Aston Barclay sites reporting record demand and reduced stocking days as dealers cater for increased consumer demand.

“During Q4 prices across the board rose back to the pre-book drop levels of Q1,” explained Martin Potter, Aston Barclay’s auctions managing director.

“Every sector saw an increase in demand and prices which was further galvanised by the December election result which finally put the Brexit indecision to bed.

“The market looks set for a positive Q1 and it will be interesting to see how the new plate-change in March alters the new car used car equilibrium, if at all.

“Diesel prices made a welcome comeback in Q4 and shows how resilient demand for the fuel is, particularly in the family hatchback and larger SUV sectors,” he added.

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