Fleet News

Off-roader demand pushes up 4x4 values

HIGH demand for 4x4 vehicles is pushing residual values hundreds of pounds higher than auction guide expectations. Buyers are not being put off by the rocketing price of fuel pushing up running costs nor that their generfally large engines are set to be penalised under the new carbon dioxide-based Vehicle Excise Duty regime.

Despite CAP's used car index signalling a 2.6% year-on-year fall in residual values, the average British Car Auctions price for a 1996 Land Rover Discovery 2.5 TDI five-door with 92,000 miles on the clock, is £8,362 - £762 or 10% above CAP clean. The auction house's average price for a 1997 Mitsubishi Shogun 2.8 GLS TD five-door estate, automatic transmission with 94,000 miles on the clock is £9,500 - £825 above CAP clean, even though it emits 331g/km of CO2 and has a combined fuel economy figure of 22.6mpg.

A 1996 Toyota RAV4 2.0GX petrol five-door has an average price of £6,119 - £244 above CAP clean. It emits 211g/km CO2 and has a combined mpg figure of 32.1. But there are exceptions. The average price of a 1999 Land Rover Freelander 1.8i five-door with 19,000 miles on the clock is £13,917 - £233 below CAP clean. Tom Madden, BCA's director of customer affairs, said there was no single reason for the 4x4's appeal and added that although it was expensive the vehicle had always been fashionable and had great driver appeal.

The main vehicles in demand are from the luxury end of the market. Andrew Shepherd, senior group auctioneer for Manheim Auctions said: 'The reason they sell so well is partly because of the time of year, the weather and the fact that the used vehicle market is very good in general at the moment.' Auctioneer Brightwells reported more than 250 vehicles were entered at its 222nd 4x4 auction, with three out of every four being sold. General manager Richard Binnersley said demand for 4x4s was caused by a countrywide stock shortage.

However, Mark Norman, senior editor of CAP Black Book, said there was a supply and demand 'mismatch' in the used car markets with corporate customers disposing of petrol models but many private buyers looking to buy diesels. His comments were underlined by Bill Carter, editor of Glass's Autoprovision, who said: 'The gap between the petrol and the diesel 4x4s is becoming more pronounced,' said Carter. 'The diesel seems to be the flavour of the month while the petrol is falling by the wayside.'

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