As many auctions now refuse to accept these old and environmentally-unfriendly cars, only a handful of auctions are still offering them for sale. Going are the days of being choked by fumes in the hall, something the poor old auctioneers and rostrum staff must applaud.
So what is happening to all this scrap that a couple of years ago had some value? Scrap men used to pay a few quid for it, but now you have to pay them to take it away. In some areas there is a growing trend to abandon these vehicles at the side of the road, with all identification being removed to try to avoid prosecution.
These scrap cars can now be as young as six years old as we are becoming a nation of throw-away consumers. Be it TVs, videos or vacuum cleaners, if it goes wrong or breaks, then it is so simple and inexpensive to simply buy another. This trend is extending to cars and the length of ownership is shortening.
This pattern will continue and the number of cars being dumped and scrapped, either legally or more than likely illegally, will increase. This is not all bad, as the older, smellier and more dangerous old cars are being taken off our roads much sooner than expected.
Clio - still the affordable fashion accessory
EVERY manufacturer has in its range a hero, and most also have a villain. Renault has always done well with its Clio. From day one, the car has sold well, both new and used.
It first appeared in the UK 10 years ago to replace an aging Renault 5. Without a doubt, the Clio saved Renault's bacon back in the early 1990s and it has gone from strength to strength since then.
Anyone within the trade, as well as disposal managers, will know the car has done them proud over the years. It has been one of those cars that has always easily found a new home regardless of mileage and age, engine size, or derivative, which is of course always important in this industry.
Why it has sold so well is still a mystery to some. There are better vehicles in this particular sector of the market, some with better build quality and others that have had far better residual values.
But it has been a success, not only on the basis of value for money but also for a certain image that Renault created. These factors made the Clio what it is today. With yet another facelift just launched, demand for both new and used will no doubt go on, as long as it continues to provide cheap motoring and remains an affordable fashion accessory.
Return of tourism leads to daily rental shortage
WITH the lifting of most of the restrictions after the foot and mouth problems, it appears that at last visitors are returning to our shores, gracing us with their presence and spending their cash. This has had a knock-on effect with the rental industry and many companies are seeing a better-than-expected demand for their rental fleets.
As we have seen so many times before, this is creating a shortage of ex-rental cars for sale at the disposal sites. This situation is worse for cars from some manufacturers because of buy-back schemes. As more and more vehicles are de-fleeted by the rental companies, it is becoming the norm for them to be returned to the manufacturers.
This is leaving a void in the market for non-franchise buyers and they feel they are being left out of the disposal route. This is bad news for them but residuals should be better protected, as a shortage from all the vendors and better management of used cars in the rental industry helps keep prices sensible. There seems to be a dire shortage of people carriers from the rental boys and anything with seven seats is snapped up immediately by the trade. They are then retailed to taxi companies, parents with large families, or those who need multi-talented vehicles to fulfil their leisure activities.
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