Auctioneer BCA reported very little
fluctuation in used car prices in March, but said increased sales
volumes and falling conversion rates were making life more
difficult for fleets selling large volumes of cars. Conversion
rates fell by between 15 and 20 points between mid-January and the
end of March.

Volumes of cars auctioned rose by a
significant 11.5% compared to February, underlining a March market
that was reasonably bullish – particularly when placed in context
of the 4% drop in volumes experienced between January and

BCA communications director Tony
Gannon said: “With greater volumes coming into the market and
demand staying relatively flat, we are seeing more re-entries and
greater numbers of unsold vehicles.

“In addition, there has been no
real improvement in the consumer sector and retail activity is
relatively slow.

“All these factors combined mean
that professional buyer confidence is relatively fragile, and with
the summer months ahead – typically quieter if previous years are
to be believed – we anticipate more pressure on conversions and
values in the weeks ahead.”

Average used car values fell in
March, though there was negligible price pressure in the big volume
sectors of fleet and lease, and dealer part-exchange vehicles.

A fall in the nearly-new sector
average value was largely due to changing model mix over the month.
Values across the board fell to £5,752, down by £233 (3.8%)
compared to February’s figure of £5,985.

Year-on-year, the average value of
cars sold by BCA during March 2011 was £39 (0.6%) behind that of
March 2010.

The current average value is currently at the lowest point
recorded since May 2010.


Click on the below image to view as a PDF:

Table showing car product sold unit market performance in March 2011