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Used market bounces back at end of 2019

Used prices rose by as much as 8.5% in 2019, with diesel making a strong comeback, while the market has also seen a strong start to 2020.

Martin Potter, Aston Barclay’s group operations director, urged fleets to fine-tune their fleet disposal strategies

Martin Potter, Aston Barclay’s auctions managing director

The latest Aston Barclay Market Insights report has found that every single market segment it monitored saw a price rise in Q4, helping counter previous downturns.

The fleet sector recorded an 8.4% rise (£763) in average prices from £9,036 in Q3 to £9,799 in Q4, supported by a third consecutive fall in average mileage to 47,000 miles, while retaining an average age of 42 months. Prices returned to Q1 levels following three consecutive quarterly price falls in 2019.

Meanwhile, the late and low sector reported a record 2019 high in Q4, with prices rising 2.8% (£420) to £15,158 from Q3 (£14,738), helped by a fall in average age and mileage to 21 months and 19,250 miles.

Overall prices in the sector rose by 6.4% during 2019 as dealers reported strong demand for 18-24 month old used stock.

Used diesels saw an 8.8% price rise (£656) from £7,390 in Q3 to £8,046 in Q4, while used petrols rose by £257 (Q3 £4,213), to £4,470.

Alternatively, fuelled vehicles meanwhile reported their first quarterly price fall of 2019 by £637 (£14,012 in Q3 to £13,375 in Q4) mainly down to the year finishing with a poor and depleted mix of stock.

Prices across all three dealer part exchange sectors rose with young market stock aged between 55-78 months rising the highest; the 8.5% (£483) took the sector total from £5,670 in Q3 to £6,153 in Q4.

The positive used car trends carried on into January with Aston Barclay sites reporting record demand and reduced stocking days as dealers cater for increased consumer demand.

Martin Potter, Aston Barclay’s auctions managing director, said: “The market looks set for a positive Q1 and it will be interesting to see how the new plate-change in March alters the new car used car equilibrium, if at all.

“Diesel prices made a welcome comeback in Q4 and shows how resilient demand for the fuel is, particularly in the family hatchback and larger SUV sectors,” he added.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 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. Natalie edits all the Fleet World websites and newsletters, and loves to hear about any latest industry news.