Motor Industry News
MyCarCheck.com top tips for used car buyers February 2014:
Alfa 4C, Sportage & 7 Series praised as cabriolet prices dip
MyCarCheck.com - the UK’s No.1 consumer vehicle data provider - has saved millions of people from making an expensive used car mistake. In these monthly bulletins its used car experts reveal significant trends in the UK market and suggest three wise buys.
- Highly desirable: Alfa Romeo 4C
- Safe bet: Kia Sportage
- Used star: BMW 7 Series
Head of Valuation Services at MyCarCheck.com, Gavin Amos, commented: “The new Alfa Romeo 4C is a very pretty car which is great fun to drive, even though the double clutch gearbox is not to everyone’s taste. For a carbon fibre car packed with advanced technology it is highly affordable, but there’s only a handful of them around and the order books for a new one are full. This is definitely a car worth paying a premium for. In fact, you’ll probably have to, to get one!
“In terms of cars that hold their value, safe bets don’t come much safer than the Kia Sportage. It is a very fashionable-looking vehicle and all-round a very functional purchase. The long warranty and attractive running costs help to make it a really sensible buy. However, because there’s not a vast number of them around, residual values remain strong. As always, it is well worth checking before you buy to make sure the one you’re looking at hasn’t been clocked or crashed.
“For our ‘used star’ this month I’ve chosen the BMW 7 Series. This luxury vehicle has a fairly strong price tag even for this high-end sector. In terms of residual value, a lot is shaved off in the first couple of years, making it an ideal second-hand buy. The ride is smooth, the engines are efficient and a good used example will deliver a massive saving against the list price. When it comes to negotiating on price, remember, as well as revealing a car’s history, MyCarCheck.com also provides vehicle valuations – a great tool for haggling with dealers or private sellers.”
As to market trends, Head of Car Valuations at MyCarCheck.com, Alan Senior, commented: “The news that the economy is ahead of the government’s forecast is no surprise to the used car trade. Dealers know from the many enquiries that UK consumers are already feeling more confident about 2014.
“The big headache for traders is the pressure to source the right stock to replace sold units. Such a situation can lead to only one thing: values strengthening. It’s the same issue we’ve been banging on about for the past three to four years now: there are just not enough clean, well-maintained examples to meet demand, and this is unlikely to improve for the rest of this year.
“One notable exception is the coupé and cabriolet market. At this time of year no dealer expects great results from convertible sales and, although consumer confidence is up, it will take a little more economic stability to bring back buyers to this sector.
“Our research shows that the models most affected are from the premium brands: Audi A4 convertible, A5 coupé and convertible, BMW 3 series coupé and convertible, Z3 and Z4 convertible, BMW 6 series coupé and convertible, Jaguar XK, Mercedes SLK, C Class Sport coupé, CLK, and CL coupé. Elsewhere, Volvo C70 convertibles are notoriously hard to find buyers for and Saab convertibles have to be cheap to create any retail interest.
“While the same lack of retail interest currently applies to the more run-of-the-mill convertibles, such as Peugeot 307 and 308, Renault Megane, Vauxhall Astra and Tigra, it is likely that these buyers will return with sunnier weather. These models have taken such a value hit over the past year, they now look very good value for money … and a cheap convertible will always attract attention.
“Many dealers are reluctant to bid guide values on vehicles offered to them by private sellers, unless the service history is rock solid. You can tell by the ever-increasing numbers of stranded vehicles on our motorways that poor maintenance and lack of servicing is taking its toll.
“The value difference of a car with strong service history compared to the same car with an incomplete service book is getting wider. This applies even more so to the premium brands. The technical complexities of modern cars, along with higher component and labour costs, have resulted in the trade being very wary. Dealers are likely to bid on the low side in an attempt to avoid any financial maladies.”
Over the last couple of years, MyCarCheck.com, MyMotorCycleCheck.com and MyTextCheck delivered around 4.5m consumer checks including those via AutoExpress and WhatCar?.
We use up-to-the-minute data from the Police National Computer (PNC), the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and major finance houses including Lloyds TSB and Santander.
Our information is trusted by the UK's leading brands. MyCarCheck.com’s parent company, CDL Vehicle Information Services, performs around two million look-ups a week for companies including CompareTheMarket, Confused.com, Go-Compare, Moneysupermarket, Swiftcover and Tesco Compare.
To help UK consumers make the right choice, MyCarCheck.com can confirm in seconds whether your potential pride and joy has ever been scrapped, stolen or written-off, has any money owing on it, has had a plate or colour change and much more.
Know what you’re getting into: MyCarCheck.com