Fleet values and volumes remained on the up in November, but there was also an increase in damaged vehicles coming to market.
New data from Manheim shows the average fleet price rose to £10,687, up 4.2% year-on-year and 0.7% month-on-month, as demand remained high throughout the month. Average age was down 8.8% to 39 months while average mileage saw a similar 8.7% to 35,227.
Volumes in the fleet sector were up 6.7% year-on-year, but dropped 4% month-on-month.
Philip Nothard, customer insight and strategy director for Cox Automotive, said: “Stock has been in strong demand over the last few months and prices have remained high as a result.
“October saw the highest volume seen all year at Manheim, but the number of vehicles in the wholesale market tends to reduce as we come to the end of the year. Usually we’d expect demand to slow down in line with supply, but this year competition for good quality vehicles has remained fierce throughout November.”
However, Manheim data also revealed an increased number of damaged vehicles entering the auction lanes from the fleet sector.
Nothard continued: “With such high demand in the wholesale market it’s tempting for fleets to reduce their focus on reconditioning, but it’s also worth noting that ready-to-retail vehicles attract the fiercest competition.
“Our data shows that taking a vehicle from Grade 3 to Grade 1 increases the margin by an average £470, so it’s worth considering, even when demand is strong.”
Looking ahead, Nothard is hopeful that fleet volumes in the wholesale market will continue to grow in 2020.
He concluded: “Supply issues and taxation confusion have caused many drivers to stay in their existing vehicles for longer. As these challenges fade away, we’re starting to see more new fleet registrations, and a gradual rise in fleet stock across the wholesale market.
“There are a lot of unknowns in the UK at present which make predictions challenging, but assuming new car supply and taxation clarity are not affected by the new Government this trend looks set to continue in 2020.”