The trade is holding its breath at present to see which way the used car market will go. Will supply outstrip demand and put downward pressure on values? Will there be the traditional January rush for stock after the usual end of year de-fleets or will the VAT issue attract buyers into making earlier purchasing decisions and will there be enough stock of retailable value, full stop?
Of course the predictions will vary and opinions will be divided on exactly what will happen in the short term, but logically in the longer term, with a shrinking car parc even if demand cools there will not necessarily be pricing pressure due to the lack of suitable cars coming onto the wholesale market.
The word we are getting across the board is that there are buyers out there and they are prepared to pay money for quality or at least the uniqueness of certain models. More run of the mill examples are more likely to sell quickly subject to price and customers are being very demanding, and indeed quite choosy, before making up their mind.
The top spec low mileage cars, especially diesel automatics virtually across the board but especially among the German car makers, are very sought after and not easy to get new and therefore decent nearly new examples are almost making list in some cases with buyers prepared to pay for exactly the right model.
Some dealers are even telling us that there is a new breed of car buyer who is making the same demands on sales people to locate used cars as they do when choosing a new car, i.e. spec, colour and mileage specific even if the car is somewhat cheaper than new. The challenge for sales people in trying to encourage these types of buyer into accepting an alternative is not proving very easy at present.
It is an interesting but exciting time in the motor trade and everyone is gearing up and bracing themselves for tough, challenging but ultimately rewarding times ahead for the best operators.