John Lewis, director general, said: "It comes as a surprise because late last year, at one of our twice yearly meetings with Glass’s, a drop of this magnitude was not even on their agenda.
"Not only that but the other main supplier of information was expecting no major changes for at least the first part of this year."
Lewis believes that when there is financial pressure on buyers they tend to move away from new and nearly new to slightly older, but well maintained cars. That’s why Lewis believes the three year old market will continue to hold up.
The BVRLA meets with the guides twice a year, in a top level forum, to discuss the trends in the used car market, to discuss condition standards and buyers’ expectations.
"This is a useful forum," adds Lewis. "It’s an opportunity for us to share views and understand the guides’ thinking. This is why it’s all the more surprising that Glass’s has come out with what in our view is a maverick perception that seeks to follow the trend for gloomy economic news when in reality, the pundits say that we are merely heading for a slowdown in growth rather than the recession bandwagon, which the Glass’s forecast would seem to be jumping on."