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Higher-mileage cars hit used market in wake of WLTP

Average fleet car mileage rose 22% YoY in April; a direct result of the uncertainty around WLTP and company car taxation, according to Cox Automotive.

The rise is in line with an ongoing trend for older, higher-mileage ex-fleet vehicles at auction that’s also seen mileage increase 2.4% MoM, Manheim’s parent firm reported.

Philip Nothard, customer insight and strategy director for Cox Automotive, said: “It’s been in the news for a while now that businesses are holding on to their vehicles for longer as they wait for clarity on taxation, and we’re seeing the evidence for that in our auction lanes.

“While new car registration in the fleet market were up 2.9% in April, we know that this was largely driven by daily rentals, while traditional fleet and business sales are down around 9% YTD, and this is a trend we expect to see continue.”

In the wider wholesale market, Manheim saw vehicle volumes up slightly MoM, while the overall average price increased by 2.2%, although this is more likely to reflect a change in stock-mix than vehicle values.

Meanwhile a sentiment survey from Modix, Cox’s digital marketing specialist, found retail demand was down YoY in April.

Nothard continued: “Traditionally a quieter month than March, this April was also affected by the sunny weather over Easter, which undoubtedly affected consumer demand. Looking ahead, the used car market remains robust and stable, and while we expect a softer market than we saw in Q1, we know there’s still plenty of consumer demand for the right used cars.”

Written by 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. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.

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