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Nearly-new problem

Development of “buyers’ market” conditions in the new car sector has put pressure on the residuals of nearly new models.

And this is set to continue, requiring dealers to offer strong retail deals to stimulate the used car market.

Analysts at Manheim Intelligence believe that, as drivers are wooed by aggressive new car promotions, fewer will pay similar prices for nearly new and this will send values of these vehicles downwards.

As revealed in its latest used car market analysis report, Manheim’s auctions have already recorded an increase in the age and mileage of nearly-new vehicles from manufacturers, now averaging 17 months and almost 19,000 miles.

This has contributed to an average drop in values of 4.5% (£485) of these younger, higher-value cars. Despite this, demand for manufacturers’ vehicles remains healthy. This is demonstrated by average stock turn having reduced to nine days from 12 days two years ago.

Fleet vehicles have remained fairly stable, with little change in age or mileage and correspondingly steady sale values.

Across the sectors, proportionate to age and mileage, 4x4s lead the way with 45% retained value at an average of 43 months/50,000 miles. Compact executive cars and MPVs also fare well, but large family cars are bottom, with 29% retained at 38.5 months/60,000 miles.

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