Motor Industry News
MyCarCheck.com/Trade Used Car Market Overview August 2013:
Dip in values even for convertibles. Are soft tops losing their cool?
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MyCarCheck.com/Trade is the trade valuations arm of CDL Vehicle Information Services. Based on cutting-edge industry data and feedback from independent and franchised dealers, these monthly bulletins highlight the most significant trends in the UK used car market.
Head of Car Valuations at MyCarCheck.com/Trade, Alan Senior, commented: “July saw much of the steady used car retail activity fall away as the holiday season got into full swing. This resulted in a slowdown of trade-buying interest. Values are seasonally down by 2-3%, even for convertibles, and some mid-sized premium models continue to fall at a higher rate. With buyers thin on the ground at many car auctions, switched-on traders were out there picking the cherries from a greater selection of clean examples than we’ve seen at any time this year.
“New car sales are very slow as the economy continues to bump along the rough road to recovery. Six years ago nobody would have thought how much damage and disruption this would have caused to the used car supply chain. The longer new car sales remain depressed, the longer it will be before the used market picks up significantly. Manufacturers are trying to generate interest by offering incentives such as low rate finance and free insurance. Many would welcome the introduction of another scrappage scheme. My view is this would create a spike in sales, but probably mostly to buyers intending to keep their new cars for six years or more – no help at all to the used car supply chain.
“Have UK used car buyers fallen out of love with the convertible? It seems that increasingly us Brits are following the buying patterns of consumers on the continent. For many years the UK has been a sales hotspot for soft tops, whereas in hotter countries like Spain they have always preferred to shut the sun out, shunning convertibles in favour of something more practical and versatile.
“In this country the ‘cool convertible’ image has ensured that, traditionally, demand has always outstripped supply. Residual values have therefore stayed relatively strong, especially for premium brands. However, a number of factors seem to be changing. The main reason is economic; convertibles are rarely the main household transport. As average disposable income has shrunk over the past five years, many people have cut down to one vehicle. A second reason is there is so much choice now from different manufacturers, it is tipping the balance to over-supply. Thirdly, many businesses have removed convertibles from their contract/lease car choice lists in an attempt to cut costs. They have long been a popular option for employees looking for something different to the same old saloons and hatchbacks. The overall outcome is that, for now, convertible values will continue to be under pressure.”
MyCarCheck.com/Trade provides buyers and sellers with all the vehicle price data they need: ready to retail, trade, average, retail and Cat D. As a free bonus, it also provides the annual road tax cost and key DVLA information, including the make, model, colour, engine size, body style, fuel type and date of registration.
Simply enter a car, van or motorcycle registration and the vehicle’s mileage to get an accurate valuation and additional information in an instant. Once signed up you can check as many vehicles as you like at no extra cost.
The MyCarCheck.com/Trade team includes:
Gavin Amos has 15 years’ experience in the used vehicle sector. After starting out at CAP he worked in several dealerships, progressing into management. He has hands-on experience of sourcing and disposing of stock, both to trade and retail customers.
Alan Senior has 35 years’ experience in used car valuations. After a decade running a franchised dealership he spent 20 years at CAP where he was Senior Editor of the Black and Red books and co-founder of the Green book, then two years as editor of Parkers Guide before co-founding VIP Data valuation services.
David Hill specialises in LCVs. He worked with Renault, LDV and Isuzu Trucks before spending 10 years as CAP’s Light Commercial Vehicle Editor then 5 years as national used vehicle sales manager for Iveco. He joined CDL in 2011.
Rob Hobson specialises in motorbikes and scooters. After leaving a dealer role to launch CAP’s Green Book, he worked in business development for Piaggio.