Used car prices rise in December

Used car prices rose in fleet, wholesale and retail markets in December, providing a strong finish to 2016, according to figures from Manheim and Motors.co.uk.

In the fleet market, the average selling price rose by 2.6% to £9,121, with ex-fleet cars recording their lowest average mileage for six months.

The average retail selling price seen on Motors.co.uk rose by 4.5% from November to £13,275 – the highest value ever recorded – and was up 16.6% year-on-year, reflecting a robust consumer market.

In the wholesale market, Manheim recorded an average selling price for used cars of £5,871, which was 4.0% up from the previous month and replicated an uplift seen in December 2015. Average mileage was 61,167, the lowest figure ever recorded by Manheim, and was down by 3.5% from the same month last year.

The sold values and for part-exchange cars remained stable month-on-month at £3,702.

Both retail and wholesale volumes were down month-on-month, with a slight increase in days in stock in both markets. Prestige vehicles were the strongest performers, with prices up 1.8% in the retail market, to £20,104, and values seen at Manheim’s auctions rose by 7.3% from November, to £10,985.

Used diesel car prices increased month-on-month in the wholesale and retail markets by 4.0% and 2.2%, respectively.

At auction, diesel car values were 3.4% down from the same month in 2015. Petrol car prices were up by 3.6% in the retail market and by 1.6% in the wholesale sector – and were also above their 2015 level in both markets.

On Motors.co.uk, the average selling price of electric cars was up 2% from November and relatively stable compared to 2015.

However, retail days in stock have been consistently falling over the past 12-18 months, indicating a growing consumer demand for plug-in vehicles. Hybrid cars also saw prices rise both month-on-month and year-on-year.

Daren Wiseman, head of valuations at Cox Automotive UK, said: “Dealers were out in force in December, and while we saw an expected drop in auction volumes, they were paying top money for the stock they wanted in the run-up to Christmas – some of which was being sold rather than held over the holidays.

“We expect to see a strong start to the year in the wholesale market, which appears to be in rude health.”

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