Across the board, used cars averaged £6,158 in August, down £22 compared to July, with this small reverse largely caused by a change in model mix, as lower-value part exchange cars represented a slightly bigger percentage than the previous month.

The year-on-year figure suggests continued value evolution, however, with August 2012 being £270 or 4.5% ahead of the same month last year, despite cars being on average older and higher mileage.

Within the individual product sectors, ongoing supply issues meant values continued to rise. Average fleet and lease car values improved by £101 compared to July to reach a new record monthly value of £8,154.

Year-on-year, the fleet and lease sector is significantly ahead and has posted double-digit improvements for three months running.

Average part exchange values increased by just £2 compared to July, but this also established a new high point of £2,951 and year-on-year figures are well ahead. Nearly-new values also posted a small improvement.

August provided another welcome result for vendors, but the short-term prospects suggest that volumes will rise from mid-September onwards. This traditionally exerts some pressure on average values and conversion rates and that could be even more pronounced this year thanks to the continuing uncertainty surrounding the economy and the pressure on consumer disposable income.

Demand is patchy and even though prices have remained relatively strong throughout the summer, this is largely as a result of the constrained supply leading to very competitive bidding.

Tim Naylor, British Car Auctions