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Unusually high demand for 4x4s in anticipation of bad weather

Used car prices in the 4x4 are increasing with more retail interest than would normally be expected in the late summer months as a result of predicted harsh winter and consumers’ memories of bad conditions last year, according to Glass’s.

Adrian Rushmore, Managing Editor at Glass’s, said: “We are seeing a really interesting trend this year, which can only be good news for dealers.

“Trade figures are showing that improving fortunes for the 4x4 sector have taken place at least one month earlier than normal.

“Trade prices for premium brand, three to four year old off-roaders have risen by almost 3.5% between July and August, while lifestyle soft-roaders have fallen by less than 1%.

“Market figures as a whole have risen by 2% for the same age of car. Given that this has happened during the peak holiday season when there would normally be very little interest in purchasing off road cars, we would have expected prices to still be in decline.”

Used car prices generally fall faster in the last quarter than at any other time of the year, but given recent trends Glass’s is predicting that 4x4 prices will only go from strength to strength over the next few months.

Rushmore said: “There has been an expected drop in 4x4 prices since the peak last January when the weather was particularly bad.

“The premium off roaders, such as the BMW X5 and Range Rover, have dropped by approximately £1,850, while soft-roaders are averaging at £1,475 less than nine months ago. Whilst there is no guarantee prices will return to last January’s level, there is every indication this will be the only sector in the used car market to show any capital appreciation between now and the end of the year.

“It really does all come down to the weather – drivers were badly affected by the two severe bouts of weather last year, and the recent price increases signal further improvement is on the cards. If we also get extremes in weather conditions we should expect a spike in prices at the same time.”


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