Average used car values saw a year-on-year rise of 0.4% in March, for a total 1.2% year-to-date, according to cap hpi.

The year-to-date rise reverted a trend of falling values that had been going on since 2015.

Values rose for both petrol and diesel cars. Cap hpi said demand was particularly strong for petrol vehicles, increasingly fuel-efficient city cars and SUVs.

City cars Skoda Citigo, Kia Picanto, Seat Mii and Toyota Ago were cited as petrol vehicles appreciating strongly. According to cap hpi data, a three-year-old Skoda Citigo with 30,000 miles on the clock is now worth around £700 more than a year ago.

Electric-powered city cars, like the Peugeot Ion, the Renault Zoe and the Citroen C-Zero were also reported to be sustaining value particularly well.

Derren Martin, head of current valuations at cap hpi said: “An increase in average values in March moving into April is not unprecedented. Values have gone up at this time of year in four out of the last five years, with 2017 being the exception. However, it is the cumulative increase since the turn of the year that is the main eye-opener.

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“What we are seeing is some cars in particular sectors increasing in value over a relatively short period. The scale of this is unprecedented as cars are generally regarded as a depreciating asset.

“Drivers are beginning to warm to EVs as confidence grows in availability and reliability. The increase in demand for smaller vehicles that are pushing up values is partly as a result of consumers downsizing but also a desire for petrol vehicles.”

“The sectors showing the main areas of pricing strength continued to be city cars, superminis and lower medium-sized cars, while convertibles are behaving as they normally do at this time of year, leading up to the spring and summer.”