The Glass’s Used Car Market Index, published by EurotaxGlass’s, indicates that the average three-year-old car (2002 02-plate with a typical 36,000 miles) was worth £6,650 by the end of September, representing a fall in value of 3.6%, or £250, over the quarter.
At the start of the last quarter (July), used car values were on average £275 lower than at the same point in 2004. However, that deficit reduced to £200 by the end of September, and EurotaxGlass’s report shows it should shrink to £50 by the end of this month.
“The improvement in residual values is due to a market-wide increase in trade demand,” said Alan Cole, editorial consultant for EurotaxGlass’s.
“In the early part of the summer, dealers were less than optimistic about sales prospects and consequently bought in less used car stock. When it became apparent there was a sustainable level of consumer demand, and their stocks were less than adequate, general wholesale trading increased with the result that prices became firmer by September.”
Values continue to be strongest for small cars, family cars and diesel variants. “There must also remain a big question mark as to whether the buoyancy experienced towards the end of the third quarter and into October can continue for the last two months of the year,” concludes Cole.