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Used car prices should return to seasonal patterns

Used car prices should follow the season norm in the second half of 2010 according to new analysis from Glass’s.

The prediction comes despite potentially damaging factors of prevailing economic uncertainty and the likelihood of a further reduction in retail demand.

Glass’s predicts that monthly price changes for the remainder of this year will only be marginally worse than those of the past five years.

For much of 2010 used car prices have followed similar patterns to those seen during recent years, with a rise in the first quarter followed by a decline in the second quarter.

The difference this year is that prices have fallen more sharply in May and June. If the second-half adjustments in prices witnessed over the past five years were repeated in 2010, a three-year-old car with a current trade price of £10,000 would be worth £9,100 by the end of the year, having covered another 6,000 miles. However, Glass’s is now forecasting that this figure will instead be around £8,750.

Adrian Rushmore, managing editor at Glass’s, said: “Lacklustre consumer demand for used cars – influenced by the prospect of reduced disposable incomes resulting from Government austerity measures – would be expected to impact on prices up to the end of 2010.

“But ongoing low levels of new-car registrations are generating reduced volumes of part-exchange vehicles, leading to a shortage of used cars. Even though the supply of used cars is likely to be lifted by the normal influx that accompanies the new September plate, the consequential fall in prices should be little different to what was experienced in the years prior to 2008.”

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