Overall used car values fell 2.2% in March.

This was caused by a fall in retail and trade demand due to the Covid-19 crisis, according to cap hpi.

It was a month of two-halves with trade values tracking at a -0.3% from the previous month on Friday 13 March.

However, there was a dramatic effect on used car prices from Monday 16 March as demand fell.

The number of cars sold on Friday 20 March was 23% lower than on Friday 6 March and 19% lower than on Friday 13 March.

The total cumulative Live movement during March, leading to April’s monthly values, was an average drop of 2.2% (-£275) at the three-year, 60,000-mile point, the majority of which happened in the final 10-days of valuing.

For newer used cars, the drop was 1.8% (-£425) at the one-year, 20,000-mile point.

Derren Martin, head of valuations UK at cap hpi said: “As you would expect, all of the main sectors have been affected by this decrease in values.

“Rest assured, the movements that have been made in March have been reflective and not an over-reaction to feedback or industry ‘noise’.

“We are aware of reductions by some online car purchasing sites and some remarketers, but our adjustments have been purely as a result of used car transactional data.”

Cap hpi expects that in the short-term both used and new car sold volumes will reduce dramatically, as the industry has already witnessed in the immediate aftermath of the country lockdown.

He added: “We will be analysing the data as always, but not adjusting used values while there is insufficient data. In effect, if vehicles are not selling in quantities anywhere close to normal, we will not be adjusting.

“No overall market adjustments will be made based on historical data or opinion; outliers and unrepresentative sample sizes will not be reflected. We will be closely tracking retail volumes and prices, but not adjusting any trade values from these.

“We feel this is the sensible approach in these unprecedented times – we always have a duty to reflect the market, but at present, there is not enough of a market to do so accurately.”

UK car manufacturing fell -0.8% in February, with 122,171 vehicles produced in the month.

This represents a loss of just over 1,000 units compared with February 2019.

The SMMT has said that the decline was driven by slower demand in some key global export markets.

In February global shipments fell -3.1% to just short of 95,000 units.

Although combined EU demand rallied (up +3.6%), exports to the US and Asia fell substantially.

There was positive news for the domestic market, where output rose +7.8%, with 27,172 cars produced.

Year-to-date figures show a -1.5% year-on-year drop in overall production.

The figures come at a time of unprecedented challenge for the UK and its automotive industry, with all car manufacturing plants now on shutdown as the country focuses efforts on overcoming the crisis.

An initial assessment commissioned by SMMT of the potential impact of these shutdowns suggests a loss of around 200,000 units by the end of 2020, just under 1.1 million – a fall of 18%.

However, the impact could be far more severe if the crisis, and therefore shutdowns, were to last for months instead of weeks.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “Despite the myriad global challenges the UK automotive industry has faced in recent times, it remains fundamentally strong and February’s figures reflect that.

“However, these figures also reflect the calm before the storm. With UK car plants now effectively on national shutdown and many global markets closed, the outlook is of deep concern.

“We wholeheartedly welcome government’s extraordinary package of emergency support for businesses and workers, but this must get through to businesses now.

“If we’re to keep this sector alive and in a position to help the UK get back on its feet, we urgently need funding to be released, additional measures to ease pressure on cashflow and clarity on how employment support measures will work.”

Fast-growing Top 50 Indie Ascona has added another acquisition to its estate.

It has bought the lease of Dorking BP Service Station for an undisclosed sum from husband and wife Mike and Kim Prior, who were looking to retire.

The forecourt has four fuel pumps and facilities include a car wash and ATM, and there is also a shop on the site which has a Costa machine, and comprises more than 750sq ft.

Under the previous owners it was a Spar but has been converted by Ascona to Best-one.

David Branch, director of Forecourts4sale, who acted for Ascona in the deal, anticipates a delay in transactions completing, due to professionals being restricted to work, but is still confident the market will emerge unscathed from the coronavirus clampdown.

He said: “At present, shop sales are up as households face lockdown, but fuel sales are down due to families staying at home and being discouraged from using their vehicles except for essential trips.

“Clearly, the whole situation is unprecedented and operators generally anticipate this slow period will last for around three months.

“Some forecourts have further struggled due to staffing issues triggered by the Government’s lockdown policy. Generally, however, an air of optimism still pervades and operators are anticipating buoyancy returning to the market before too long.

“All of us at Forecourts4sale are still exceptionally busy with valuations continuing to be requested.”

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