It seems to be business as usual in the world of used cars. Every time someone predicts that events have reached a plateau and buyers are about to vanish because used cars are now too expensive, the market outperforms expectations and defies predictions. Where the scrappage scheme seems to be generating sales and enquiries, with many dealers reporting increased activity, the auctions are experiencing lower volumes but still appear to be attracting strong buying trends.
Cars in the 2-6 year section of good pedigree and specification continue to make strong money and with more dealers and private buyers competing to buy the same profile of cars this is keeping prices high. Couple this with the decreasing supply; most vehicles seem to be selling well.
Convertibles across the range are making their seasonal impact, the difference this year is that there is not the choice we would expect by now, meaning prices on some brands are higher than the norm. 4wd’s continue to not only sell well at auction but are now dealers who having heard the positive news, feel encouraged to add these cars to their portfolio again creating more competition and thus holding prices steady.
Perhaps the only small change being seen is the effect on prices of late plate smaller cars which, because scrappage can be used on a new version, can be considerably cheaper. However the impact is minimal, as unlike many new car offers, customers have to be of a particular type to qualify, i.e. they need a 10 yr old car to trade-in. This means the pressure on late, used equivalents is not as dramatic as it could be.
June is expected to remain steady with volumes of used cars coming to market still expected to be well down on seasonal norms, in terms of buyers there are still some great deals out there and dealers, despite the fact they may struggle to replace their retailable stock, are still very nervous about holding onto stock for too long given their experiences from last year and the volatility of the general economy.
So happy bargain hunting!