LONDON – British Car Auctions’ (BCA) Pulse Report for Quarter 1 2007, shows record levels for sales of fleet vehicles suggesting sustained consumer confidence in the retail sector, according to the Web site The report said that values for fleet and lease vehicles rose to new heights in Quarter 1, surpassing the record levels recorded in the final quarter of 2006. These fleet and lease cars, generally around three years old with 60,000 miles, are the “stock in trade” for the retail motor sector and the high values being achieved suggest sustained confidence in the consumer car buying market.

In Quarter 1 2007, values for the three-year-old, 60,000 mile fleet and lease car averaged £6,913 — a new quarterly record value. Values in March approached the levels recorded in September 2006, breaking the £7,000 barrier and rising by £348 (5.3 percent) against the previous quarter. The rise was seen in all sectors apart from MPVs, where values remained static. The average values for petrol and diesel continue to converge, although diesels are remarketed at a much higher average mileage.

Heavy demand allied to relatively thin stocks earlier in the year will have helped values to firm. However, by the end of the first quarter, volumes had significantly increased which indicates demand is driving values firmly upwards, according to the Web site

Average mileage fell for the first time in five consecutive quarters, and now sits some 2,000 miles lower than it was in the last quarter.

As average values for fleet/lease cars have risen, that rise has been split fairly equally between the various body-shapes. All sectors saw a rise in value since the turn of the year, except MPVs, which fell by £5. The biggest rise was seen in Roadsters, which rose in value by over £1,000 — volumes are small in this sector however and model mix at BCA will have an effect.