Fleet News

Used car sales record

THE massive growth of the nearly-new car market saw the UK's used car market reach record levels last year. UK buyers spent £28.1 billion on used cars in 1997, £2 billion more than the previous year, and 52.7% of the total car market, according to the British Car Auctions '1998 Used Car Market Report', produced in association with Sewells International.

The report attributes the increase in value to the greater number of nearly-new cars - under two years of age - hitting the market, and the recovery of the three- to five-year-old car sector, with the average used car sold by a dealer now fetching £5,230.

'The 0-2-year used car sector broke through the one million barrier for the first time, with sales of 1.03 million units,' it said. 'Fuelled by stronger new car sales in 1996 and 1997, this sector now accounts for 13.3% of the used car market, far removed from its low point of 9.5% in 1994.'

Tom Madden, BCA's director, customer affairs, said the record value of the used car market underlined its strength, despite recent residual value pressures.

'The UK used car market is a major part of the motor industry and indeed the economy as a whole as these figures clearly show,' he said. 'While short term pressures have undoubtedly affected used car values, the long term, underlying trends highlight the strength in depth of the market place.'

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