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Increased demand over a shortened trading period with reduced volumes in December saw average values improve by £250 (up 4.0%) compared to November, according to BCA’s latest Pulse report.

Average values rose to £6,451, the highest figure on record since Pulse began reporting in 2005. Some of this was down to model mix, but the increase also reflects the very competitive trading environment seen in December. Average values have risen by over 8% in the past two months.

BCA Pulse: December values up in thin trading

The bulk of the increase was felt in the fleet/lease sector where values improved by £270 (3.6%) to £7,658 – the highest monthly average figure since January 2011.

While values fell in the part-exchange sector from November’s record breaking figure, demand for budget vehicles remains exceptionally strong. Values rose for nearly-new models by just over £1,000 to reach £19,963, a result of model mix in a very low volume sector and a number of special sales events staged during the month.


Year-on-year, December 2011 was a substantial £546 (9.2%) ahead of the same month in 2010, when heavy snowfall was a critical factor and conditions proved logistically challenging for buyers and sellers alike.

BCA’s Communications Director Tony Gannon commented “December provided another relatively strong performance in the used car market, as professional buyers competed strongly for stock in the run-up to Christmas – a trend we have seen over a number of years now. However, it is worth factoring in the much reduced trading period and reduced headline volume – down by some 37% – which means model mix has a bigger role to play in average values during December than at any other time of the year.”

“Otherwise, the overall picture remains very similar to recent months, with a good balance between supply and demand.”

Fleet values improved for the second month running and reached £7,658 – the second highest average value in 2011. CAP performance improved marginally to 96.48% and year-on-year values were ahead by £423 or 5.8%.

Fleet values

The part-exchange sector saw average values stutter from November’s record breaking performance, falling by £53 (1.8%) to £2,824. Despite this, December’s average value was the third highest on record in the sector and it is also notable that average mileage rose by over 1,000, which will have impacted on value. Year-on-year figures are ahead by £119 (4.4%). Performance against CAP Clean fell by a point to 91.6%.

The part-exchange sector

Average values in the nearly-new sector rose from £18,957 to reach £19,963, an increase of £1,006 or 5.3%. Model mix is largely responsible for the changes in this sector as volumes are so low. Performance against CAP Clean fell by three-quarters of a point to 100.6%.

Average values in the nearly-new

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