Standing at the auction yesterday I couldn’t help noticing how the hall seemed completely bereft of atmosphere. The usual suspects were all in attendance of course, milling about chomping on bacon rolls as usual, but the distinct lack of quality cars being entered meant I stayed only a short while.
The tell tale signs were obvious; on the rare occasion a bright, “proper” car came through we were all over it like the proverbial rash and of course it made well over the odds.
In truth the sale probably mirrored what is going on in many showrooms around the country at present, i.e. not massive demand but perhaps enough. Prices need to be reflective of that demand but unique examples with high spec or cars with impeccable pedigrees are making a premium which buyers are happy to pay if the price is right.
In other words retail buyers are not much different from the trade buyer in that we all want good quality cars at a value for money price but are prepared to pay extra for best in class examples.
The lack of retailable cars around is starting to impact on sales and is leading to dealers having to closely monitor their pricing policies, almost on a car to car basis because if it is a model that is not easily replaceable it needs to be priced to reflect that. This is not necessarily good news for car buying customers but is really a reflection of the current market.
Although many commentators expect the stock situation to improve somewhat towards the end of September it may not be speedy enough for customers looking to change their vehicle now.
It is worth making comparisons on the web and seeing just how popular a model of interest really is before making the plunge as many dealers, especially franchised, are having a tough time selling new cars and are therefore relying on selling large volumes of used cars to compensate.
As a result these same dealers are competing for less business so car buyers should only pay a premium if it really is a rare car.