Fleet News

Premium choice set to hit RVs

THE pressure of image over price among used car buyers could spell the end of the traditional family car as residual values continue to fall this year.

Glass's Guide is warning that used car buyers could increasingly opt for the premium brand they have always wanted, pushing used car values for many models down to record lows.

Jeff Paterson, senior car editor for Glass's Guide, said: 'The ongoing threat to the traditional large family car will remain very real in the coming years, both as a new and a used car proposition.

'A combination of product innovation, as seen with the new breed of MPVs, and the insatiable demand associated with the premium brands will be associated with this.'

With the launch of the new company car tax system in April, Paterson predicted drivers with premium brand vehicles would pay extra company car tax just to keep their coveted badge.

But even if drivers did hand back their vehicles, this would not affect their traditionally high residual values.

He said: 'The cars will be placed into a market that is not affected by benefit-in-kind taxation.

'There will be no shortage of used car customers wishing to shed their 'Mondeo Man' image for something that might suggest a greater station in life.

'Therefore, increased volumes in the used car market might not mean depressed values.

'Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for cars from the D sector, where the used car buyer ruthlessly exposes any weaknesses in particular brands.

'Values at the moment are at an all time low, but the lowest point may not yet have been reached.'

With the March plate change approaching, he added that increasing numbers of older cars from fleets arriving on the auction floor would create downward pressure on used car prices next month.

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