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Sports car market feels the squeeze

This month’s AM Index will focus on the sports car sector at three-years-old/60,000 miles in a CAP Clean condition. The most glamorous sectors of the used car market are finding the going particularly tough in the current market. 

Sports cars are just as susceptible, if not more, to economic contractions. 

So in a period where consumer spending is drastically down, spending on luxury items, including cars, has come under increasing pressure. 

Although there are some daily-use vehicles in this sector, many of these types of cars are for weekend use and in a lot of cases spend long periods under cover.

With the uncertainty in the economy comes a reduced desire to buy non-essential luxury items which many of these cars can be described as. 

This sector sees a definite performance variance bet-ween petrol and diesel with diesel performing a percentage point stronger.

Although not many of these cars have a strong diesel presence, the introduction of the new Audi TT diesel may change the perception that sports cars must be petrol, as could its oil-burning R8 supercar. 

The sector as a whole is down 4.3%, with diesel down 3.3%.
The differences in the cars’ list prices are huge and the definition of what constitutes a sports car subject to much interpretation.

For example, a TVR Typhon, which this month drops 9.1% and will cost £28,350, sits in the same vehicle grouping as a Smart Roadster, which has increased in value by 13.9% and costs £5,600. In fact, the Smart sports range as a whole is performing incredibly well against a backdrop of tumbling used car prices. 

The values of high-performance sports cars have suffered the most. This steep reduction has been an on-going theme throughout the summer.

As an example, the TVR T440 R Coupé has lost £7,000 since July. Similarly, the Maserati Quattroporte has lost more than £4,000. 

One of the most expensive cars in this sector is the Mercedes-Benz SL AMG Convertible and, although a relatively rare sight on our roads, it is not immune to the current downturn. 

Although it’s hard to find any good news among the sector, it has performed significantly better than the convertible sector, which has dropped 6.2% and also contains some similarly powerful cars. 

Press speculation about cancelled orders by newly jobless bankers won’t do anything to help strengthen values. 

To a lesser degree, but none-the-less important, the changes to VED bands and changes to company car taxation will also play a part in maintaining the pressure. 

As winter fast approaches, the desire for these types of car reduces even further so in the short to medium term it is very unlikely that we will see values rebound.

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