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Dealers warned over 'pre-reg' stocks

Used car dealers need to be wary of “anxious manufacturers filling forecourts with pre-registered vehicles” if prices are to improve, according to Richard Lownsbrough, Reg Vardy transit vehicles general manager.

Dealers must “carefully handle pre-registered cars” and not “take their eyes off the cascade of used car prices” by solely focusing on these vehicles, he said.

Lownsbrough, a speaker at AM online's sister publication Automotive Management's spring conference - Used car crossroads - said used car buyers were becoming increasingly selective.

“Everyone is looking for the same stock, but there is a shortage of the right products,” he said. “Stock is becoming bland.”

Used car dealers are short of “bread and butter part-exchange vehicles”, he added.

Lownsbrough believed retail sales would pick-up later in the year, reflected by a “firming” of prices and he singled out August as the important month for sales. “Last year we had good demand for used cars in August. If demand hasn't moved to September, as a result of customers realising it's the second plate-change, then July prices will hold.”

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