BMW MINI at a Manheim auction

Manheim and Motors.co.uk report on the wholesale and retail market for April


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Manheim and Motors.co.uk – both Cox Automotive brands – observed a slight softening in the wholesale market in April, alongside strong retail activity. Data from Manheim’s auctions shows a £195 (3.5%) drop in average selling prices compared to March, down to £5,308, with average retail selling price data from Motors.co.uk showing a £120 (less than 1%) decrease, to a figure of £11,923 in April.

Conversion rates appeared to remain strong in April, with Manheim’s data showing an average of 9.5 days in stock for vehicles sold at auction – an increase of less than 1 day from March. Retail days in stock were down 2.4 days from March to an average of 43.3 days.

Car auction with vehicles going throughIn the retail market, Motors.co.uk data indicated that volume brands recorded the quickest sales in April, with an average figure of 42 days in stock, compared to 48.4 for prestige brands and 63.2 days for luxury brands. The relatively scarcity of luxury cars in the wholesale market led to the converse situation at Manheim’s auctions, with high-end cars recording just 6.2 days in stock, compared to 9.7 days in stock for both prestige and volume brands.

Within the wholesale market, average selling prices for franchised dealer part-exchange stock remained relatively static, with a reduction of just £49 (1.3%) to £3,623, while conversion rates were still strong at an average of 7.3 days in stock.

National fleet vendors saw selling prices of their vehicles at Manheim’s auctions rise by an average of £402 (6.3%) in April, to £6,799, reflecting strong demand among consumers for quality used cars, with known provenance and good service history.

For younger, lower mileage manufacturer fleet stock, average auction selling prices softened in April, falling by an average of £1,432, down to £12,497, likely reflecting the pressure on dealers to achieve targets for new car sales and the attractiveness of PCP financing for car buyers.

Vehicle dashboard with odometerThe average mileage of vehicles sold at Manheim’s auctions continued to decrease, with an average odometer reading in April of 63,733, down 2.2% from March. A fall in driven distances was recorded for all vendor stock, with manufacturer fleet vehicles showing the biggest monthly drop in mileage of 11.1%.

One of the most interesting trends seen in the retail market is the apparent increase in demand for cars with lower emissions. Data from Motors.co.uk shows that while the average retail selling price of diesel cars fell by £173 (1.2%) in April, and stayed relatively static for petrol cars, the prices for hybrid cars rose slightly, and electric car prices increased significantly by £1,087 (8.7%) – although they represented less than one in every 1,000 cars sold in the retail market.

Warmer weather in April appears to have driven wholesale demand for convertibles, with the average selling price of cabriolets rising by £556 (11.2%) at Manheim’s auctions. Dealers appear to have acted early to get hold of stock, as demand for convertibles in the retail market did not show any comparable increase. The wholesale demand for SUVs also remained strong in April, perhaps due to mixed meteorological conditions, with average selling prices rising by £851 (10.2%) overall, and £1,059 (13.7%) in the part-exchange market.

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