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Used petrol and diesel prices reach record high

The used car market continued to benefit in the wake of last September’s WLTP introduction on new cars in Q4 2018 with both average prices of diesel and petrol vehicles reaching a record high while overall fleet values performed well.

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

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

The data from Aston Barclay shows that the new car shortages caused by the switch to WLTP helped drive used car activity, culminating in average prices for diesel and petrol vehicles reaching a high of £8,818 and £4,651 respectively during Q4, a rise of £67 and £326 respectively over Q3.

Prices of hybrids and EVs also slowed down in Q4 to £12,714 from £13,073 in Q3, mainly due to a restricted mix of stock, however, volumes were up 38.6% in 2018 from 2017.

As well as helping to drive diesel and petrol prices, WLTP also helped the market through a move to contract extensions within the leasing sector which restricted the supply of ex-fleet cars coming back into the used market. Fleet prices increased from £9,960 in Q3 to £10,009 in Q4 and rose by 6.5% (£613) from Q4 2017.

Overall, average used prices across all stock categories rose year-on-year.

Commenting on the report findings, Martin Potter, group managing director, Aston Barclay, said: “Q4 saw the impact of September’s WLTP introduction continue to rumble on within the used vehicle sector, with restricted supply and increased demand resulting in price increases across all sectors except for late and low cars.

“The price increases with the dealer part exchange sector during Q4 have been healthy and with Brexit looming the demand for cheaper used cars looks set to continue.”

Potter continued: “The coming 12 months look positive for the used vehicle market yet will undoubtedly bring challenges too – the obvious one being how Brexit ultimately plays out.

“The used vehicle market is in a strong, resilient position and held firm during its market challenges in 2018.”

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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.