Fleet News

Residual value improvement hopes fall

USED car values fell again in April throwing hopes of an overall improvement in residuals over the year into doubt, according to latest figures from both CAP Motor Research and Glass's Guide. The May issues of both CAP Black Book and Glass's Guide have car values marked down across the board.

CAP's used car values index based on a basket of 98 vehicles at three years/45,000 miles showing a 0.9% year-on-year decline - a steeper decline than the 0.4% registered in March. Month-on-month values were also down 0.9%.Although CAP predicts values will yo-yo throughout the year it now believes that the accelerating decline 'throws into doubt' hopes of an overall improvement on last year by the end of 1998.

CAP chief economist Mark Cowling said: 'At the beginning of the year the trade was eagerly awaiting the first weekend of major retail activity - but it never happened. 'We are now entering a traditionally quieter period for the trade. Therefore the likelihood now is that we won't see an upturn in resale values until August or September, if at all.'

Both CAP and Glass's say nearly new prices are tumbling - with the former saying vendors are setting unrealistic reserves and buyers are not bidding - but it warns fleets 'not to panic' and calls the present decline 'a market realignment'.

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