AM Online

Used car analysis: What's hot and what's not in used car market

By Richard Crosthwaite, prestige car editor, Glass’s

Being hot often has a lot in common with the prestige sector and Audi is sizzling through the summer months.

Effective PR has certainly buoyed up Audi against competitors such as BMW, Jaguar and Mercedes-Benz.

This has taken the form of a protracted and very deliberate policy to court VIPs with loan cars referred to by journalists as “Zammo Cabs”.

The result has been to lure customers with large budgets to the Audi brand and this has contributed to strong RVs that are keeping Audi ahead of the pack.

Even the TT Roadster is showing strength again after suffering several years where values slipped below its cheaper coupé variant.

Despite the recession we are still seeing the rich getting richer with new and used Ferraris the focus of more retail attention.

Because new car sales have faltered in recent years, the shortage of used examples is keeping prices stable.

With the older models regarded as a good investment Ferrari is one of this summer’s simmering brands.

What’s not?

Sadly there is no surprise at the continued pressure on the profit margins of the traditional used car dealer.

The market for genuine used car sales remains tough with a significant amount of late plate “used” cars coming to market.

Sheer volumes coupled with the pressure to make quick sales means many cars are selling at their SIV (stand in value) which is further eroding margins.

And definitely not hot at this time of year are 4x4s, having faced a fourth month of large book drops which equates to around 4.5% per month for prestige cars.

We anticipate that the bottom of the market is now not very far away with prices starting to edge upwards, once again, from the second half of August.

Finally, don’t even think about asking for a premium for a prestige car with non-original manufacturer options such as a rear entertainment system.

What appears to save money in the short term will lose it in the long run, as these features have no future resale value.

With the coming months being crammed full of sporting events and royal celebrations, keep watching this space for the latest winners and losers in the world of prestige cars.

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