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Auction firm Aston Barclay has reported a reduction in UK used car prices in the first weeks of quarter four.

Following a period of generally strong values post-lockdown, the company said all used car prices softened during the first two weeks of October – though it did not issue figures.

It added that prices of dealer part-exchange cars older than 60 months – which sold exceptionally well immediately after the UK’s lockdown period – reduced by an average of 8.8% in quarter three.

The company cited the end of the UK’s initial furlough scheme, a spike in repossessions and voluntary terminations and Brexit as reasons for the fall.

Martin Potter (pictured above), managing director of Aston Barclay, explained: “Any one of these could affect dealer and consumer confidence, however, we feel prices will remain healthy into 2021 as new car lead times keep extending. This means a flood of used cars hitting the market will be avoided as ex-business and personal leasing contracts are extended due to new car delays.”

Despite the recent downward trend, the firm reported strong quarter three results across all sectors except dealer part-exchange vehicles.

Prices of 12-24-month-old ‘late and low’ cars and ex-fleet models rose by 7.3% and 6.5% to £16,383 and £11,653 respectively. The former was caused by “a severe shortage of stock”, while the latter category experienced an “all-time low” average of 39,000 miles and high dealer demand in the £8-12,000 price band.

“The market for used cars between 12 and 60 months old was unstoppable in Q3 which is why late and low and fleet prices were so high, but we have witnessed a change in buyer attitudes in early October,” said Potter.

“Many buyers have started to only buy the stock they need for fear of market prices moving downwards and them being left with a number of cars owing them money.”

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