Adrian Rushmore, managing editor of Glass's, said: 'Given that 2002 was a record-breaking year for new car sales and that used car business also flourished, it is surprising that values for one year-old vehicles were down 7% and two and three year- old cars were down 4%.
'Much of this was due to the aggressive and successful marketing of new cars. There was also a powerful aspirational urge of customers to acquire a new car even if this meant taking on a heavy burden of debt.'
Used car retail sales volumes improved in the region of 5% in 2002. However, Rushmore continued, the behaviour of used car customers tends to mirror that of new car customers, and as with 2002 the new market has the potential to generate business at the expense of used in 2003.
Rushmore added that next year, concerns about the economy could see customers becoming more wary about borrowing, leading to subdued demand.