Record volumes drive the used car market in January

January used car values, BCA pulse report.

Average used car values returned to more typical levels in January, after the seasonally affected values recorded during December, according to BCA’s Pulse Report.

The headline figure of £9,298 was on a par with values seen in October and November, but the real story of the month focused on the sold volumes achieved by BCA, which reached record levels.

In the second week of January, buyer demand rose significantly. The previous weekly sales record was broken by more than 10% as BCA sold 25,500 vehicles across the network, with numerous centres across the 24-strong network reporting record trading.

Year-on-year, the headline value figure was up by £679 equivalent to a 7.8% improvement – reflecting both the richer mix of cars available at BCA over the past 12 months and the substantial levels of demand experienced this January, it said.

Stuart Pearson, BCA MD UK Remarketing, explained: “January was an exceptional month across BCA’s network as we handled and sold record volumes of vehicles.

“The used car sector certainly started the year strongly, with competitive bidding across the board from high value prestige stock to older, higher mileage budget vehicles.”

He continued: “Despite the sharp rise in volumes, supply and demand was well balanced and buyer activity was strong and confident.  That said, the competition for the buyers’ wallet remains intense and BCA is launching a number of digital initiatives and service enhancements that will firmly put the customer at the heart of our business activities over the coming months.”

He concluded: “BCA expects to see strong demand over the coming week as we approach the March plate change with a healthy sales program in place to support this.”

Average values remain at near record levels in the fleet and lease sector, with the January figure of £10,513 representing a small decline of £91 (0.8%) against December.

Retained value against original MRP (Manufacturers Retail Price) improved slightly to 42.09% in January.  Year-on-year values were up by £350 (3.4%), as average mileage continued to reduce.

Average dealer part-exchange values slipped by just £70 (1.5%) in January to £4,703.  Values have remained relatively stable since rising sharply in September of last year.  Year-on-year values were ahead by £208, equivalent to a 4.6% uplift.

Values for nearly-new vehicle values rose to their highest point since December 2016, up by £647 to £19,680. Model mix has a significant effect in this very low volume sector, with brand specific winners and losers.