December dip is relative

The average value of used cars fell during December, according to BCA’s Pulse Report, but it was still the third highest monthly average on record.

November was a high-water mark for the price of used cars, but values dipped to £8,046 last month, a fall of £80, following a change in market sector mix. For example, a larger percentage of dealer part-exchange cars were sold in December compared to the previous month, which resulted in average mileage and age rising over the month.

Simon Henstock, BCA UK chief operating officer remarketing, 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 in December, 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.

‘The early days of trading in 2016 have been exceptionally busy and with the new plate on 1 March only weeks away, we are entering one of the 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.’