Average used car values are lower than 12 months previously for the first time this year, according to the Used Car Price Index published by CAP.
The index for August reveals that the fall in values accelerated last month, making the cars from two further sectors typically cheaper than a year ago. In August average values for upper medium and small executive models joined the list of car types that cost less now than a year ago.
It is smaller cars that have seen the largest year on year reductions in value so that a typical three year old city car or supermini is now almost 10% cheaper in the trade than the exact equivalent vehicle in August 2009.
Cars across all sectors have seen their values reducing since April this year, gradually wiping out the price rises that occurred during much of 2009. The strongest increases then were in the 4x4 sector and average values there still remain 11% higher than a year ago.
Mike Hind, CAP communications manager, said: "Taking the used car market as a whole, values are now on average almost 3% lower than in August 2009.
“It is the first time this year that average values have been lower than 12 months previously. But it does mean that this is a better time to buy a used car – especially a small or medium family car – than we have seen for a couple of years.”