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UK residual values falling

There has been a dramatic fall in European residual values in the second half of the year as the positive effect of new model introductions declines.

Average values have dropped for the first quarter since the third quarter of 2003, according to the EurotaxGlass’s European Fleet Index of Residual Prices for three-year-old cars compiled by eurocarprice.com.

The index shows that average values in Europe in November 2004 were 2.7% lower than 12 months ago. The trend-rate over the three months from September 2004 to November 2004 was for values to decline by 1.9%.

Four of the 'big five' markets are now experiencing negative trends, with Italy in particular seeing a substantial drop in values (-9%).

The slowdown in the UK also dramatically gathered momentum. UK values dropped by 10% last quarter. Although values dropped slightly in the last quarter in Spain, there is still a strong positive trend over the last 12 months (+7%).

The gradual decline in France and Germany continues.

Values in Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Hungary and Poland are gradually increasing but there are small reductions in Portugal and Switzerland.

The largest reduction of all of the countries tracked in the index continues to be the Czech Republic.

Values are dropping in nearly all segments – the main exception being lower medium diesels.

In the small car segment, Renault Clio & Seat Ibiza are the best performers, Fiat Punto the worst.

The Peugeot 307 is now three years old and is having a positive effect on the lower medium segment where diesels are performing much better than petrol models.

The positive influence of the new Ford Mondeo on the upper medium segment is now not so strong now that it is four years old, although the Renault Laguna is still performing well compared to the previous model, says eurocarprice.com. Audi A4, BMW 3 series and VW Passat are other positive performers.

In the executive segment most values are now declining, particularly BMW 5 series and Mercedes E Class.

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