Motor Industry News
March 1st usually brings with it a period of relative inactivity in used cars amongst franchise dealers. New car deals take preference as registration targets are chased throughout March. Today, as we have previously mentioned, good used car stock is difficult to find so the influx of part-exchange vehicles provided by the new plate is eagerly awaited. Franchise dealers can pick out the right stock to retail, whilst traders and independent dealers all fight for the pick of the rest via the various trade channels.
Many franchise dealers are reporting that orders for 13 plate are down on last year’s new plate. Unsurprisingly the number 13 spells bad luck to the superstitious buyers out there and this is certain to stop some people taking the plunge and going for a 13 plate on their pride and joy. On the other hand cherished number plate sales are sure to have risen in an attempt to mask the unlucky number.
Our research has shown recently that ever more dealers are reluctant to bid near guide values on vehicles offered to them by private sellers. Ironically the same dealers are more likely to bid strongly and sometimes bid over book value at auction. They see the auctions as a safer place to buy when the history of a vehicle turns out to be somewhat more sinister.
In the average used car buyer’s world, fuel consumption is now the most talked about subject next to road fund licence fees. This is not surprising as we all pay the highest amount of tax on fuel in Europe and possibly the world. Given that we talk about this so much, it is disappointing that the official government fuel consumption figures are so wildly above reality. Every day driving condition figures should be the benchmark which would see most official figures tumble by as much as 20 mpg. Even the most frugal models fall into this category as manufacturers try to out-do each other with the lowest advertised figures.
New car buyers could have a solid point with this subject, but manufacturers and government officials hide behind the argument that everybody has a different driving style. This may be true, but consider how much harder it is for the used buyer to achieve these figures when the car has done the miles.
For March values remain steady throughout. We are still seeing ‘star cars’ such as Evoque and Q5 which remain at the top of everyone’s wish list. However the price of fuel is once again on the way up and this will again have a downward effect on values of larger-engine vehicles. This will mean that many 4x4 values are likely to fall at a much faster rate over the coming months.
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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