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Guest blog: Why dealers will be preparing for a busy six months

The outlook for the industry in the next few months is a complicated one. The changing plate format, VAT increases, lower consumer confidence, potentially declining residuals and an ageing car parc mean forecasting transactions and demand is a tricky and multi-faceted calculation.

So what do those consumers, who are seeking to buy a new car need to do to maximise their purchase decision? The key is to ensure they consider the cost beyond the price tag on the front window. They should consider if the car will hold its value on the resale market. We recently analysed 10 of Britain’s favourite cars, based on the top selling makes and models of cars in 2009, and compared their current resale price. The results challenge the perception that a car loses a significant proportion of its value the moment you drive it off the dealer forecourt.

It’s comforting to note that 60% of 2009’s top 10 selling cars have lost less than a quarter of their value. For those customers looking to buy a new car, these results should offer reassurance that their new vehicle will hold its value far beyond the dealership forecourt.

The survey results really do show the potential resale value and the importance of considering depreciation when purchasing a new car. It was particularly good news for Audi A3 drivers who bought their car in 2009, with the resale price only 7% less than in 2010.

2009’s top selling cars with original and resale values

Top selling cars of 2009 August 2009 price as new July 2010 price on Autotrader.co.uk Price drop
1. Ford Fiesta £13,000 £10,000 23%
2. Ford Focus £16,500 £10,000 39%
3. Vauxhall Corsa £11,100 £8,300 25%
4. Vauxhall Astra £15,535 £8,599 45%
5. VW Golf £16,305 £12,000 26%
6. Audi A3 £16,085 £14,990 7%
7. Peugeot 207 £9,548 £7,599 20%
8. Vauxhall Insignia £20,430 £13,499 34%
9. Honda Jazz £12,235 £10,000 18%
10. Vauxhall Vectra £16,815 £7,699 54%
Table order reflects the top selling vehicles of 2009

An incentive to buy a new car is the launch of new number plate, which is out now. I expect we’ll see a boost in car sales this month as people race to buy the new plates. The process for numbering plates has been confusing for many, the key thing to remember is March 2010 and September 2010 will be recognised by 10 and 60 respectively.

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