Supercharged March markets

Used car wholesale and retail markets supercharged in March

Cox Automotive through its wholesale and retail brands observed increases in average selling prices and incredibly high buyer activity within the used car market in March.

Used car wholesale and retail markets supercharged in March

The overall average selling price of cars sold through Manheim’s physical and online auctions was £5,913, which was up 6.5% up from March 2016. The business also notched up a new weekly auction record, selling in excess of 11,000 units. For the month, volumes were up 5% year-on-year, while speed of sale matched the previous year’s figure of 9.3 days in stock.

In the retail market, Motors.co.uk saw the average selling price of cars listed on its website rise by 6.9% year-on-year to £12,873, alongside a 5.8% increase in the number of listings.

With an increase in the volume of ex-fleet cars at Manheim, there was some softening in that segment, with average selling prices down by 2.7% to £9,941. Part-exchange values rose slightly year-on-year, rising by 1.2% to £3,647.

With improving weather, Manheim also observed cabriolet prices starting to rise, with an increase on 8.8% from the values record in February.

Dealer Auction, the UK’s largest trade-to-trade online auction platform, also saw average selling prices increase, rising by 11.6% from the same month last year, to £4,306. The business also saw significant growth in the number of vehicles sold by franchise dealers on its platform, selling 8,188 units in March – a year-on-year increase of 19.4%.

Wholesale stock funding business, NextGear Capital, recorded an increase in the average cost of units funded, which was £6,501 in March, as well as a significant rise in the number of units funded – rising 19.7% from February, alongside higher utilisation of its stock funding provided to dealers.

Daren Wiseman, Head of Valuations at Cox Automotive UK, said: “March saw the highest ever new car sales in the UK in a single month, helped by the rush to register cars before the new VED rates arrived on 1st April. The used car market showed similar strength in March, with records being broken in our Inventory Solutions business, and increases in average selling prices across the board.”