January saw the first monthly rise in average UK used car values since last October as buyers competed strongly for stock, reports auction house BCA.
Average used car values at BCA improved by £679 in January compared to December, representing an increase of 9.8% over the month.
Sold volume also increased significantly compared to December – typical for the time of year as retail activity increases after the festive break.
The final full week of January recorded the highest weekly volume sold at BCA in nearly a year. Performance against guide price improved significantly as the month progressed and stock churn improved.
Stuart Pearson, BCA COO said: “Used car values saw a significant uplift in January at BCA, with some of the most competitive bidding that we’ve seen for months. I think it’s fair to say that many were caught out by the buoyant market that we’ve experienced, but it’s been great to see some confidence back in our customers.”
“With a number of broader economic factors adding to consumer confidence, along with the pricing realignment that took place across the last quarter, there’s no surprise that conversion rates have lifted and we’ve seen stock churn increase dramatically.”
Pearson added: “Despite these positive trends emerging, it’s important that we don’t get too carried away because we could see some pressure on used values around the corner, with new vehicle discounts being promoted as we head towards the March plate change.
“In the short-term, it feels like it’s going to be a very seasonal February, with supply and demand well matched driving strong but stable pricing, which is definitely a welcome relief after some of the volatility of last year.”