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September 2012 Used Car Market Editorial
The month of the 62 plate is here. In recent weeks the trade have been focussing on the new plate from both a new and used car sales perspective. Even with two plate changes per year diluting the excitement, we still see a hike in new registrations and sales activity around March and September.
Switched on traders always use the new registration months to take advantage of fresh trade stock that appears throughout September. The current stock shortage means that traders will be fighting for anything fresh that hits the market. Every sales opportunity must be fully exploited. New car enquiries that, at one time, would have been killed off if a customer didn’t have the budget for the desired new model, are now offered an alternative used car to try and help prevent them from going elsewhere. It sounds simple, and it is, but the fact is that many dealers didn’t fully exploit all enquiries. Smart thinking has now prevailed and most dealers now realise that every customer is like gold dust and must be fully exploited.
Prices remain ever strong at auction. There are plenty of people bidding for anything that’s clean, needing little preparation with full history. The right colour, spec and mileage are still key to strong bids. We previously talked about dealerships now retailing part-exchange cars that would have previously found their way to auction. This is becoming an even more popular way to fill used car forecourts as the reality hits home that there is serious profit to be gained. This will continue to strangle used car supply for the trade.
The new and used car markets are very fragile at the moment. Buyers have become very sensitive to the cost of petrol and diesel over recent years and the news that fuel prices are rocketing once again could not have come at a worse time. The few buyers that there are were just starting to get used to some stability in recent months. We know that demand for fuel has not increased over this same period so why is the cost going up again? It seems the financial speculators and oil companies are once again playing the game of “How far can we push the price up and get away with it?” Why do governments allow this to happen? This is further proof that government does not think logically. The economy cannot grow when a basic requirement for all of us such as fuel is allowed to be so unstable on price. Values of higher CO2 output vehicles and larger-engined examples will be affected over the coming weeks. This will put even more pressure on the models that have smaller capacity engines - models that are already in short supply.
Most values remain unchanged for September. Only the undesirables such as older Audi A8 and the once fashionable coupes and convertibles are still feeling the pinch. As such, values have been dropped slightly.
VIPDATA is part of CDL Vehicle Information Services Ltd (CDL VIS) the vehicle data arm of CDL Group Holdings Ltd, based in Stockport, Cheshire.
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