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‘Extraordinary’ levels of demand fuelling used car market

Aston Barclay Wakefield

Used car values continue to outstrip expectations by a significant margin, with the market expected to remain bouyant over the coming months.

Figures from Cap HPI, published earlier this month, showed that, on average, trade prices for used cars have increased by £1,700 or 13.5% in the past three months.

Now, new data from BCA shows that average used car values at the auction house rose above £9,000 for the first time on record in June.

It reports average used car values rose by £835 month-on-month, equivalent to a 10% increase and averaging around 3% ahead of guide values. 

The acceleration of price rises had showed some signs of easing towards the end of June, but the July market has continued the trend of steady improvements seen over the past few months.

Stuart Pearson, chief operating officer, said: “There is no doubt that the used car sector has seen some exceptional price movements this year, in the main fuelled by extraordinary levels of demand for the right vehicles.”

He continued: “Whilst there will always be some nervousness in a market that continues to rise, based on BCA’s current intelligence, it would seem highly unlikely that any significant changes will occur over the next few months.”

Premium used cars most in demand

Aston Barclay has revealed its latest Used Car Desirability Index for July, which highlights premium SUVs and used sports cars are the most in-demand stock across both its physical and online auction channels.

Its data takes into consideration three key metrics: web views prior to sale, number of physical and online bids per sale, and the sale price achieved as a percentage of CAP average.

The BMW 7-series and BMW M4 tied for first place with the Mercedes S-Class and Range Rover Velar close behind.

This is the first month where no full electric cars have made the top 25, previously Tesla had made the June list, while the Lexus NX was the only hybrid on the list.

In July, 19 out of the top 25 places were taken up by BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, Jaguar, Range Rover and Lexus. Higher end SUVs and sports cars are most sought after, as the new car supply challenges caused by the semiconductor shortage have increased used car demand.

The Fiat 500C, the Suzuki Jimny and the Skoda Yeti reflects the high demand at the lower price end of the market for cars that are in short supply.

Martin Potter, Aston Barclay’s managing director – customer, said: “Our latest index highlights the current demand for premium vehicles.

“At this end of the market consumers do not want to wait long periods for a new car to arrive so they have switched their attention to the used market to source their next car. This has meant many dealers are competing for the same make and model of car which continues to push up prices.”

VW Transporter and Iveco Daily vans top desirability index

Aston Barclay has launched its first ever van desirability index, which highlights July’s most popular used light commercial vehicles (LCVs) being sold at auction.

Prices in the used van market have been buoyant for the past two years and our July index identifies the most popular brands at auction, with two models performing head and shoulders above the rest.

In first place is the VW Transporter which is popular with SMEs such as plumbers and electricians, while others buy them to convert into leisure vehicles.

The Iveco Daily comes a close second by offering businesses something larger up to 7.0-tonnes which makes it popular with those that need to carry heavier payloads.

Toyota’s Hi Lux pick-up appeared in third place on the index with the Ford Transit Custom and Fiesta van making up the top five.

A total of 10 panel vans appeared in the top 25, four pick-ups and 11 car derived vans, with five out of the top 25 places taken up by Ford, which reinforces the brand’s continued popularity with used buyers.

Aston Barclay’s data takes into consideration three key metrics: web views prior to sale, number of physical and online bids per sale, and the sale price achieved as a percentage of CAP average.

Geoff Flood, Aston Barclay’s LCV national sales manager, said: “The used van market has risen by 48.3% since Q1 2020 which represents a price increase of £2,381.

“Aside from price we thought it would be good to see what make and model of vans are most popular at auction.

“Ford, Mercedes and Volkswagen all appear on our list, while the Iveco Daily was the only heavy weight van that featured in the top 25.” 


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