The average price of used cars sold at auctions fell by more than 10% in January compared with the previous month, according to the National Association of Motor Auctions (NAMA).

Its report shows that during January the average values of used cars sold at auction decreased from £5,402 to £4,856, equivalent to a 10.7% reduction between December and January. However, it said this can largely be attributed to the high volume of older cars sold at auction during January having a negative impact on the average price.

In contrast, sales activity increased substantially in January, particularly in the dealer part exchange sector. Although this is in line with normal seasonal changes the increase was much larger than in previous years.

Tony Gannon, NAMA executive committee member, said: “NAMA believe that the current pricing levels are likely to be maintained, although they will be subject to some short-term volatility.

“There continues to be strong competition among buyers for the most desirable vehicles and this shows no sign of waning. The low supply of three year old vehicles as a consequence of poor new car sales in 2009/2010 will continue during 2013. This is likely to result in the continued buoyancy of prices in the fleet sector due to the limited amount of quality vehicles it has to offer.”