Changes to road tax (VED) rules that came into effect this month could help used car dealers to position themselves as a genuine alternative to new vehicles.
This is especially the case at the lower end of the new car market where the VED changes will hit buyers hardest, said Sean Kent, RAC Dealer Network director, corporate and independent dealers.
“Some new superminis and family hatches will see the amount of VED paid rise exponentially, by as much as nine times over the first three years of their life,” he said.
“That is quite an increase for the typical, budget-conscious small-medium, new car buyer and may encourage them to consider the benefits of buying a quality used model instead.
“We believe that this is a great opportunity for used car dealers to position themselves as an alternative, highlighting the way in which VED is hitting new cars and the increasingly good value that used cars represent as an alternative.”
Kent said that, to make this proposition work, dealers had to be able to convincingly offer used cars that were seen as a genuine alternative to new.
“Obviously, a large part of the appeal of a new car is the fact that it has the complete backing of a manufacturer warranty. No used car can completely meet this degree of reassurance but the propositions that we have developed come very close indeed.
“What we are seeing is really a convergence of trends. At the heart of this is the typically used car itself, which is much, much better made and able to remain desirable and reliable for much longer than even a decade ago.
“However, the used car market has also developed to reflect the quality of the vehicles available. The packages that support the car – from warranties to breakdown cover – have become very comprehensive indeed.