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Buoyant market leads to six-month high for ex-fleet values

The company’s latest Manheim Market Analysis confirms the continuing upward trend in residual values and highlights that, despite the average age of vehicles at auction remaining unchanged since March 2013, their typical mileage reached a 12-month low of 58,592 in April.

Looking at performance over the last year, the report shows that average used car values in the fleet sector have risen by 2% to £6,846, compared with £6,712 in April 2012. This is despite an increase in the average age of vehicles from 50 to 52 months over the year.

Over the past month, the average selling price rose for six of the 10 vehicle segments that are considered, most notably for the compact executive and medium family segments. The compact executive saw a 13% increase to £9,185, while the medium family car sector saw a 6.7% increase to £6,658. Conversely, the largest fall in values was recorded in the 4×4 segment, where the average value fell by 11.3% to £12,409, which is reflective of the move into the summer months, where convertibles become the more attractive option.

Daren Wiseman, valuation services manager at Manheim, said: ‘The continued increase in the average selling price suggests the market remains buoyant for quality cars at wholesale. However, fleet managers need to be mindful of the fact that we are living in unusual times and they should not be tempted to base future residual values on current vehicle performance at auction.’

He added: ‘While overall prices achieved at auction remain strong, we are seeing a tightening of the market, with fleets having to work harder to achieve top book values.

‘We're increasingly seeing that additional investment in pre-sale activities such as body repairs and other cosmetic improvements are really paying off right now.’

His comments come as CAP reports that used trade values in general are coming under pressure, due to rising new car volumes. However, the company has said it believes this is just a short-term phenomenon.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.