Used car sales in the UK (and just about everywhere else, for that matter) have been in the doldrums, to say the least, for many months. The inexorable decline in car values has left many dealers nursing painful losses on stock cars, and has led to the strange situation where, however desperate a dealer was to sell you a new car, he wouldn’t (or couldn’t) offer you a part-ex price.
But according to the used car value Gurus at Glasses Guide, things are starting to look up – a little.
2009 has started on a big up for used car buys by dealers. Volume has risen dramatically as dealers look to stock up on quality used cars, probably in the expectation that 2009 will see a significant shift to used car purchases instead of new.
But although volumes have risen dramatically, prices have not risen in the same fashion, although they are a little higher, and firmer, than they were in the last months of 2008 – not that that is saying a lot.
Adrian Rushmore, Managing Editor at EurotaxGlass’s, said:
“Dealer stocks were at historically low levels – thanks to fewer consumers bringing in used cars in part-exchange, as well as the efforts made by dealers to clear used stocks during the last quarter of 2008 – and yet the level of trade buying is unprecedented for this time of year, exceeding all expectations given the broader economic conditions.
It is becoming clear that most franchised dealers are expecting a very large shortfall in income from new car sales during 2009, and the response of many is to plan a concerted assault on the used car market.
There has been lots of competition for the best cars, and the auctions have found their inventories dwindling,” adds Rushmore. “Even those ‘problem’ cars, such as executive models and large 4x4s that struggled to find buyers in December, have been attracting bids. This is because the need to restock is great, and because many of the large gas guzzlers now appear very good value for money.”
So it looks like things are looking up a little. Of course, that means the massive bargains we saw around pre-Christmas have probably dried up, but better more realistic car prices and a viable business, than the motor trade ending up in the hands of just a few powerful companies.
Have your say - leave a comment