Average used car values remain under significant pressure according to BCA, despite seeing average values lift slightly in October. 

Used car values at BCA rose to £7,397 in October, up from £7,262 in September, halting a trend that had seen values decline for four consecutive months, but heavily influenced by an improving mix of product.  At the same time, the price guides declared the largest monthly downward move in more than ten years, with a 4.2% across the board decline for the month of October.

Stuart Pearson, BCA COO commented “Our buyer customers tell us that the retail used car market continues to be very tough.  Movements in values have further been exacerbated by improving new car supply, along with the reemergence of new car discounting and manufacturer support that has been virtually extinct since the start of the pandemic.  It therefore shouldn’t be surprising that we’re experiencing some realignment of used values following the inflated prices that have existed for the last three years.”

“Fortunately, the last few years have created greater rigour around used vehicle stocking which means that even with the value movements that the market is experiencing, engagement with our buyer base remains positive and sellers and buyers are finding a way to transact, albeit there is definitely some pain being taken.”

“As a result of the pricing volatility, buyers continue to remain extremely selective and condition sensitive, and many are applying further uncertainty discounting to insulate them from expected falls in values between now and the end of the year.  The likelihood is that we’re in for another challenging month in November, but there is demand as long as pricing is realistic and in line with market sentiment.  The old adage of the first bid often being the best bid is definitely playing through in the data we see.”

Pearson closed “Despite the continued pressure on used car values, our online sales continue to attract significant numbers of buyers, driven by the volume and variety of stock on offer and the ease of purchasing, at whatever time suits our customers.  These are undoubtedly economically trying times and navigating the next few months will require some caution as many are expecting values to find a new level before the end of the year.  Even so, it is worth considering that the period that follows economic uncertainty can often be one of significant opportunity.”

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