Part-exchange car prices have reached an all-time high, according to the monthly market analysis by automotive services company Manheim.

It found that in February average part-exchange values reached £2,938, a growth of more than 20% year-on-year.

It also reported that the rise during the past 12 months in part-exchange values achieved at sale has been mirrored by the steady increase in the retained value of used cars coming to auction compared to their original retail values.

These values have shown a 3% rise year-on-year, hitting 18% in February 2013.

Daren Wiseman, valuation services manager at Manheim, commented: “Strong demand for used cars continues to keep average part-exchange values high as buyers opt for used models over new. This trend is set to continue for the foreseeable future unless manufacturers elect to switch to more value-added marketing activities or very competitive finance options to drive a distinct shift in demand for new vehicles.

“The strong prices achieved are also driven by a shortage of quality retail profile stock and this shortage, although maybe easing through March, looks set to continue.”