Used car values beginning to realign

Used car values averaged £8,552 at BCA in April 2022 as the used marketplace continued to level out in the face of numerous external economic pressures.

Values were on a par with those seen a year ago, although the intervening 12 months have seen average values reach exceptional levels as pent up demand combined with a relative shortage of stock created a frenzied trading environment at times. Average monthly values peaked at nearly £12,000 last September with price performance routinely exceeding 105% of guide expectations.

This year has seen the market start to realign, and values have settled steadily over the first four months of 2022, with guide price performance moving from 99% in January to 94.8% in April.   

BCA UK COO Stuart Pearson said: “For the first time since the onset of the pandemic in early 2020, the used vehicle marketplace is starting to exhibit some of the more typical traits we might have expected to see in previous years. 

“It is well documented that many retail sectors are currently impacted by consumers tightening their belts, and it’s therefore no surprise that this has had obvious repercussions for used car retailers and the wholesale sector that supplies them.”

He added: “Whilst there will always be some concerns in a market that sees values changing rapidly as demand shifts, the reality is that the market overheated last year and the ongoing increases in average values simply were not sustainable. There’s definitely been some volatility this year, but there are signs of values stabilising.”