Used car prices look set to slip as auction values of vehicles start to fall backing up predictions made by What Car? last month.
After nine months of steady climbs, the average value of used cars had increased by 30% yet auction houses and traders are signalling that the market has peaked, with falls expected in the run-up to the end of the year.
Some prices are 15% lower
Online used-car seller Autoquake.com says the average prices of a wide range of its cars has fallen from September to October some are almost 15% lower.
In October, the average price of all Saab 9-3s sold (aged 36 months on average) fell by 1151 11.8% less than the price of similar cars a month before. The Audi A3's price also fell by an average of 1130 (10.6%), but the Renault Laguna had the biggest percentage drop at 14.8%, or 532.
Yet Autoquake.com co-founder Fredrick Skantze doesn't expect every forecourt to reflect what's happening at auctions. 'Online sellers, like us, can react quicker and follow the movement of the market,' he said. 'A traditional bricks-and-mortar dealer can't change prices overnight.'
British Car Auctions has also backed up our forecasts. BCA's Tim Naylor said: 'Average prices at auction have been falling recently due to rising numbers of cars coming on to the market.'
Matt Sanger, What Car? used car editor
Matt says The window for picking up a lower-priced used car may not be that big we predict values will start to rise early next year. The shortage of newer used cars means prices will climb once dealers start competing for stock.