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4x4 demand high in face of foot and mouth

Auctioneer Brightwells of Leominster has reported "unseasonably strong" demand for four-wheel drive vehicles, despite the agricultural market reeling from the effects of the foot and mouth crisis.

In particular, the company has found buyers eager for Land Rover Discoverys costing between £6,000 and £12,000.

Richard Binnersley, general manager of four-wheel drive sales, said: "£12,000-plus vehicles are relatively quiet, probably because of part exchange for Y-plate models, but in the cheaper range, for second or third hand, there seems to be more confidence now after last year's new car pricing row."

Mr Binnersley claimed that although demand was strong in non-agricultural markets - most sales of four-wheel drives went to city dwellers - the farming community was static, as it struggled to recover from the devastation of the foot and mouth crisis. In a recent sale of 276 vehicles, 85 Land Rover Discoverys fetched from £3,000 to £21,000, 39 Range Rovers achieved up to £19,500 and 33 Land Rover Defenders fetched from £4,100 to £11,500.

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