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Used car pricing varies by 14% across the UK

Used car prices are highest in the south east of the UK and differ by up to 14% across the nation.

A new study by EurotaxGlass’s of almost 200,000 used cars offered for sale throughout the UK via Auto Trader has found that the average asking price of a second-hand car is the highest in the South East of England, at £10,400 – 14% more than in the North East, the area with the lowest recorded regional average, at £8,900.

In the analysis of asking prices during the last quarter of 2006, Scotland commanded the second highest average used car price, at £10,000. The third highest ranking region fluctuated during the quarter between the North West, Midlands and Wales, with the North West fractionally higher in most weeks. The average in the North West over the period was £9,700 – 7% lower than in the South East.

“The variations in average asking prices can partly be attributed to the uneven distribution of cars by market sector in different parts of the UK,” said Adrian Rushmore, managing editor at EurotaxGlass’s.

“For example, in the North East the proportion of smaller, more affordable vehicles such as superminis represents around 26% of the total in the region – higher than anywhere else in the country.

“At the other end of the price spectrum, higher-priced luxury saloons, sports cars and convertibles are available in proportionately much greater quantities within the South East.”

However, the EurotaxGlass’s analysis also reveals marked regional differences in asking prices for the same types of car.

A comparison of 10 small and family-sized models on 2003 ’03-plates on sale during November and December indicates that the South East again showed the highest average prices, in all but one week.

At the other end of the scale the cheapest cars were to be found in the North East and North West.

“Of particular note was the degree of price difference,” adds Rushmore. “Over the period, average prices for the sample group of vehicles in the South East were £5,400, compared to £5,000 in the North East and North West – some 8% lower.”

Rushmore states that price remains the single greatest factor influencing what car a consumer will buy. “Internet used car listing websites like Auto Trader clearly provide a highly effective method for potential customers to locate the most attractively priced cars. The close co-operation between EurotaxGlass’s and Auto Trader is now making it possible to identify clear trends relating to pricing, supply and demand for all regions of the UK.”

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