Used car values set to stabilise

Average used car values at BCA ended last year at £6,918, down by £315 on November’s figure.

The downturn in December continued a trend throughout the second half of 2023; since peaking in March, average used car values declined by over 22% with nearly half of this realignment taking place in the final quarter of the year.

Stuart Pearson, BCA COO, said: “Feedback from our customers highlights that the last quarter of 2023 continued to be extremely testing, with many factors playing into the retail slow down experienced. Buyers were caught in a dilemma of whether they should ‘stick or twist’, however a number actively took advantage of significantly lower prices in December to refresh their forecourts and have been realigning their existing stock on a weekly and often daily basis.”

However, he is expecting a period of more stability going forward.

He said: “While the market has experienced continued pressure on used car values over recent months, it is worth noting that values have now shifted to a place not too far away from those seen in pre-pandemic times. Considering that the UK economy has been under significant stress during 2023 with high inflation, rising interest rates and a cost-of-living crisis, the fact that a number of factors appear to be peaking could help to support an uptick in retail activity and thus drive greater stability for used vehicles prices.”