August 28, 2015

Bargain of the Week – My First Car


Happy 2011. Yep, we're back with another series of Bargain of the Week. OK, so I've had January off, but this particular edition is a personal one and something many parents dread. Our soon to be seventeen year old is getting her very first car and my other half is already snapping with worry. This is also the year where I'm (celebrating?) eighteen … [Read more...]

Best in class always sells for top money


The fact that car dealers all seem to be chasing the same kind of stock, namely high spec, high end and predominately German or Indian cars (by that I obviously mean Jaguar Land Rover) clearly is leading to some mad prices being paid. However if there are customers out there willing to pay then how mad is mad? It is well known - although … [Read more...]

Come on dealers it’s not rocket science


Surprise surprise! The bad news has only just begun to take effect and already we are hearing stories of many people looking to downsize or sell so they only have one car to maintain. Dealers still don’t seem to be properly geared up to make the process of buying cars from private sources easy enough to appeal to customers. This explains the … [Read more...]

More value in used cars


Well there is only one thing to say about the current climate, buy used! I’m not sure this will be the long term view but with VAT on new cars a cost manufacturers simply have to pass on, they are more likely to be flexible and take a smaller profit on a used car which is not vatable but of which the extra VAT will cost them only £25 for every … [Read more...]

Best of Bargain of the Week


December has always been the month of culmination; a years' worth of work all down to the wire. The Car of the Year tag is over used and, although the end of the year isn't far away, I've decided on our very own – Best BOTW. I had no idea that two years down the line I'd still be writing MTI's BOTW but it's proven to be a good read and I've enjoyed … [Read more...]

Get in early in the new year as the choice may soon diminish


With every man and his dog predicting tough times in the trade next year and not to mention more bad weather in the short term at least, dealers are gearing up for the pre-new year sales in the hope that they at least get the year off to a flyer. Despite the gloom there are still buyers out there but they are being choosier than ever before and … [Read more...]

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 … [Read more...]

Gang of four by four’s for the winter


The bad weather is upon us, albeit a little earlier than normal, and already the predicted enquiries for 4x4’s have begun in earnest. Dealers are reporting values rising at auction and are stocking up expecting a severe winter ahead of us. As we said in our recent Tiguan feature the rise of the soft 4x4 is ensuring that whilst 2 years ago this … [Read more...]

Marketing cars online, answers on a postcard


Marketing cars has taken on a whole new impetus in the last few years. The speed of that change has surprised many car dealers to the extent that they are confused about just how far they need to go to make it financially viable. For example, we are told by all the marketers that a classified car ad with 3 images is almost 10 times more likely … [Read more...]

Let’s talk about the dreaded “D” word


Let’s talk about “residual values”. Yes, we’re talking about the dreaded “D” word – depreciation. Once we know the picture regarding a prospective car’s future value (it’s our money after all!) then it may become an important part of the car buying decision process. Residual or future value is all about supply and demand, brand popularity and … [Read more...]

Car dealers assunimg the brace position but we’ve been here before


What a load of cuts! We have been hearing about the cuts and austerity measures that are needed for some time now and, as the chancellor revealed, they will be deep and potentially fatal for many people. Lots of us will face major hardship and public sector workers will be hit hardest of all in terms of their job security. I don’t pretend to … [Read more...]

Which way will the used car market go?

The trade is holding its breath at present to see which way the used car market will go. Will supply outstrip demand and put downward pressure on values? Will there be the traditional January rush for stock after the usual end of year de-fleets or will the VAT issue attract buyers into making earlier purchasing decisions and will there be enough … [Read more...]

Perception and transparency are key when it comes to ex-rental cars


Ex-rental cars are again set to be cause for debate in the car sales arena. The recent report by the OFT has again highlighted how dealers need to clearly communicate to buyers that a car they are selling is an ex-daily rental car. At present the trade mainly view the situation as; if a customer asks they will be told if not, then it doesn’t … [Read more...]

After a turbulent September the hard work really begins

It’s the end of a rather turbulent September for most in the car business. There are those, especially in the main agent world, who are well short of their new car targets even with some last minute pack deals. There are also independent sellers who have struggled to locate suitable stock at competitive prices and even those that did have found … [Read more...]

Car sales and the X-factor

Selling used cars seems like a simple process; you buy for one price and sell for a higher one. OK that may be over simplifying a not too complicated business, but if car sellers stick to some basics of preparation, presentation and price (the three P’s) they can usually be sure to turn a profit most of the time. With the knowledge many car … [Read more...]

No atmosphere at the auctions as decent cars become scarce

Standing at the auction yesterday I couldn’t help noticing how the hall seemed completely bereft of atmosphere. The usual suspects were all in attendance of course, milling about chomping on bacon rolls as usual, but the distinct lack of quality cars being entered meant I stayed only a short while. The tell tale signs were obvious; on the rare … [Read more...]

Brisk business at the car auctions down to short supply

Although the auctions are doing brisk business at present, there is a feeling that this is mainly down to short supply. There is expected to be a flood of cars later in the month as contract hire and lease cars are de-fleeted, meaning more choice and therefore a cooling of prices on the trade market. Since the end of scrappage the value of small … [Read more...]

Caution pays when buying a used car

During an economic downturn or periods of economic uncertainty it is more important than ever to ensure that any car you buy or service you pay for is legitimate. We in the trade always look a little more closely at part exchanges and all the supporting paperwork. For example when someone says their car has a “full service history” is that … [Read more...]

As used car prices heat up could demand swing back to new cars?

As the trickle of part exchanges arrive at action the distinct lack of cars has begun to re-heat demand. Most of the major auction houses have had many more buyers for far fewer cars and as a result some cars have been making, what we call in the trade, 'Brewster’s'. This was kind of predicted and may very well be only be temporary in nature … [Read more...]

Dodgy dealers clocked by VOSA

Over the years the car trade has unfortunately been blighted by bad practices and fraudulent actions, one of the worst being clocked cars, which leads to nothing but misery for drivers and distrust and contempt cast upon all car sellers. A car is "clocked" if someone interferes with the odometer (the mileage reading) and while it’s not actually … [Read more...]

Used cars are always unique

Why do customers choose certain cars over others? Well that is certainly the $64,000 question and if we knew the definitive answer we could probably sell the formula for a lot of money. In the car trade there is one thing we can be sure of and that is if we have a car with what we call a unique selling point we can be fairly confident that the car … [Read more...]

MPV demand stays strong as more holidays are taken in the UK

|The summer moves along at a pace and on my recent camping holiday (Roman Abramovich’s yacht was booked up unfortunately) I couldn’t help noticing how many “sensible” cars I saw parked next to the tents. It appears that with many of us deciding, for economic reasons, to holiday in the UK we are also snapping up MPV’s and estates (station wagons, … [Read more...]

Shrinking number of used cars to retail leads to a change in thinking

We are always pointing out here at MTI how difficult it is going to be for dealers to find quality retailable used car stock in future due to the shrinking car parc. There will be less of the previously owned cars which dealers have traditionally vied for. In other words 1-3 year old cars with fewer than 40k miles which are still in warranty … [Read more...]

Latest predictions foresee tough times ahead for used car market

People in the motor trade love to make predictions and, of course they are not always. That said, I predict many more predictions by voices within the trade before the year is out. The latest batch come from car dealers, especially those in the franchised sector, who are predicting tough times ahead for the used car sector in the coming months. … [Read more...]

Look out for VAT busting deals as car dealers turn negatives into positives

Believe it or not the effect of the VAT rise in January 2011 has actually left many car dealers feeling relived and excited. The fact that there is likely to be a last rush of buyers trying to beat the VAT increase will almost re-create the publicity that was around during the launch of scrappage. Although there will no doubt be some … [Read more...]