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Used car prices begin to rise

Used car values rose year on year in November - the first rise for six months. It means the average trade value for a used car is a marginal 0.1 per cent higher than for the equivalent vehicle in November 2001.

Autumn normally brings a dip in the fortunes of the used car market therefore November's unusual stability is especially welcome to the trade.

The overall average rise is driven by sharp upward movements in the executive and 4x4 sectors which are up by 5.6 and 4.8 per cent respectively compared with November 2001. Only the lower medium (Focus/Astra size) sector is also up, by 1.2 per cent.

The used car market has proved generally more stable this Autumn than usual but this follows a summer which saw values slump.

Traders blamed the long Jubilee celebrations and the World Cup for diverting public attention from buying cars.

CAP economics editor Ramesh Notra said: "This kind of stability is valuable because it encourages the trade to look forward to the New Year when retail demand for used cars tends to return.

"Retail demand faced many distractions this year but provided used car retail activity picks up as expected in January there is no reason why the market should not get off to a healthy start next year."

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