Auction demand expected to ‘level out’ in March

“Following the past few months of strong volume growth, respondents to the survey are expecting volumes to stabilise during March,” said Louise Wallis, head of the National Association of Motor Auctions (NAMA), commenting on the latest figures from NAMA’s market attitude survey.

38 per cent of respondents believe that volumes will stay the same this month, with a quarter estimating an increase, with 42 per cent expecting a fall. March usually sees an increase in vehicle volumes due to dealer part-exchange vehicles following the March plate change. However, it is likely the volumes will level off, as good quality used cars are in shorter supply, so dealers are holding onto more part-exchange vehicles to sell at retail rather than auctions.

Conversion rates are predicted to remain strong, with 58 per cent expecting yet another rise, a third believing they will stay the same, and only 8 per cent think they will decrease. First time conversion rates also saw 58 per cent of respondents expecting an increase, as demand for good quality used car stock continues amid strong consumer sales.

Following a strong two months for vehicle values, they are generally expected to plateau in March by NAMA members. 83 per cent of respondents suggest that petrol cars will remain the same, with 75 per cent saying the same for diesel, and 82 per cent for hybrids. No respondents believe that petrol, hybrid or plug-in hybrid values will decrease, and only 17 per cent believe diesel value will decrease.

Wallis continued, “The market is expected to remain strong in the run up to Easter, although external factors may have some short-term effects on the market, particularly the uncertainty surrounding coronavirus.

“That said, any impact is likely to be short lived and only delay vehicle buying decisions rather than remove them altogether.”

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