Used car prices? Take a wild guess!

At this time of year valuing cars becomes somewhat of a lottery. The true value of the car is dictated not so much by what it is really worth but more by the strange dynamics of the end of season market.

Throw in “economic uncertainty”, dealers looking to bank end of year cash, hideous weather and many people with their minds elsewhere and it can be a confusing scenario for a car buyer.

It never ceases to amaze me that the amount of convertibles on the market virtually trebles when the weather is at its worse and even the modern style with built in hard tops are not immune from chronic depreciation.

The auctions we have been visiting have a selection of convertible representing almost every manufacturer and all equally undesirable and price sensitive. We have seen examples where certain models like Peugeot, Renault and even BMW, VW and Audi have seen the hammer go down at as much as £3,000 behind their guide prices.

So if you are hoping to change your drop top in this weather please think again unless you have very deep pockets! Of course if you were thinking of buying one when the weather gets a bit better, well why wait they won’t be any cheaper than they are now and when the summer comes you will realize you are driving round in the bargain of the century.

On the other hand, as we have mentioned previously, 4wd’s have gone the other way and have risen in value at the first sign of bad weather. Perhaps we are stating the obvious but getting back to valuations in general we did an exercise around the office on about 6 cars from different sectors of the market (I know but the snow stopped us going anywhere and we were going stir crazy by now). Usually during ‘normal’ trading patterns whatever they are these days we could all expect, being professional car people to be within a few hundred pounds of each other in terms of our opinion of a cars true value.

However the patterns are clearly just as confusing to us and plainly demonstrate the activity and the regional climate as to our opinions of values because on some models we were thousands of pounds apart and somewhat baffled. But then it seems so are the 2 major trade guides Glass and Cap, so we shouldn’t beat ourselves up about it. What it does mean is, the customer who is shopping for the best price on their existing car could find himself rather confused and exasperated in the difference from dealer to dealer.

Let’s just hope that more traditional patterns of trading come back to the market in 2011, for everyone’s sake.

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One Response to Used car prices? Take a wild guess!

  1. Mark Robbins December 16, 2010 at 6:59 pm #

    16th December and we have not sold a single unit this month, that’s right, not one out of around 40+ used cars on display on professional site, is it me or is the used sector in meltdown in the south of the country ie: London and Essex ??????????

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