Seasonal pressure but fleet & lease stock outperforms wider market

The used car market reacted to the typical seasonal pressures as values fell in the post-Easter period.  Average monthly used car values fell by £375 (6.2%) in April compared to March according to BCA’s latest Pulse Report.

BCA Pulse

Month-on-month values fell in all three main market-sectors, although fleet/lease values experienced the least pressure with a fall of 1.9%, compared to a 3.1% reverse in part-exchange values and a 5.2% fall in the nearly-new sector – a decline resulting from changing model-mix in a low volume sector.

Across the board, values fell from £5,974 to £5,599, which is in line with the pattern seen in March and April last year.  Used cars averaged 94.6% of CAP Clean in April, compared to just over 97% in March, while age rose to nearly 64 months and mileage climbed above 60,000.   Year-on-year, April 2012 is behind 2011 by only £27 (just under half of one per cent), while average age and mileage have climbed by 2.1% and 1.5% respectively in the same period.

Year-on-year table: All cars

All cars Avg Age Avg Mileage Avg Value Sale vs CAP
April 2011 62.60 59,218 £5,626 92.88%
April 2012 63.96 (+2.1%) 60,119 (+1.5%) £5,599 (-0.47%) 94.60% ↑

BCA’s Communications Director Tony Gannon commented “There were signs in March that values would be coming under pressure, with the short-term seasonal uplift in de-fleets and part-exchange cars increasing supply and with wholesale demand reducing as dealers balanced their stock.”

“It was notable that demand held up best in the fleet/lease sector, where buyers continue to focus on quality and value, and competition for the best examples is intense.  In the context of the wider market, good quality fleet vehicles remain in short supply and values are relatively strong.”

He added “We are now in that period of the year when demand can be a little more fragile as families budget for the looming summer holidays.  And there are a lot of distractions ahead – the Diamond Jubilee, the London Olympics, even the European Football Championships – to divert attention away from the business of buying and selling cars.”

While the fleet & lease sector saw some price pressure, in general it outperformed the wider market and year-on-year values were ahead by £227 or 3.0%, despite average age and mileage being slightly up in 2012.  Fleet & lease cars averaged £7,640 in April, down 1.9% from the March figure of £7,795 (which was the highest value in nearly two years).  CAP performance fell by two and half points to 95.87% with the average age remaining at 41 months, but mileage increasing to over 49,000.  Performance against original MRP (Manufacturers Retail Price) fell by half a point to 39.58%.

Year-on-year table: Fleet & lease

Fleet/ Lease Avg Age Avg Mileage Avg Value Sale vs CAP
Apr 2011 40.80 48,962 £7,413 93.27%
Apr 2012 41.11 (+0.7%) 49,348 (+0.8%) £7,640 (+ 3.0%) 95.87% ↑


Average values in the part-exchange sector fell by £91 (3.1%) in April to £2,812, although values remain well ahead year-on-year – up by £114 or 5.3%.  Values have been on a high in this sector for several months, reflecting the competition amongst buyers for budget-valued stock.   Values compared to CAP Clean fell to 89.2%, down by 3.5 points while average age fell slightly and mileage increased marginally.

Year-on-year table: Part-Exchange

Part-Exchange Avg Age Avg Mileage Avg Value Sale vs CAP
Apr 2011 88.62 73,586 £2,668 87.27%
Apr 2012 88.94 (-0.3%) 73,767(+0.2%) £2,812 (+5.3%) 89.19% ↑


Average values in the nearly-new sector fell by 5.2% – the decline resulting from changing model-mix in this low volume sector.  Average value against CAP Clean fell marginally to 100.4%.

Apr 2012 Avg Age Avg Mileage Avg Value Sale vs CAP
Nearly-new 8.22 9,120 £17,917 100.40% ↓



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