Fleet News

Part-exchange lull boosts used values

USED car prices are firm and are even rising in some sectors due to strong trade buying, partly fuelled by a shortage of customer part-exchanges.

According to CAP Black Book, prices are holding thanks to an overall shortage of available stock which means active bidding for all cars suitable for retail. The market clamour for good cars also means high standards of preparation, such as cosmetic repair work and general cleaning, brings significant financial rewards too.

Black Book senior editor Tony Styles said: 'Among the reasons for the shortage of good trade cars was a slower start to September's new car sales than many dealers expected, which meant relatively few part-exchanges.

'And few of those vehicles that were part-exchanged reportedly matched the quality criteria for manufacturers' used car programmes.'

Styles said the problem dealers now face with many part-exchange cars is that they often will not meet the increasingly stringent standards applied to bring a car up to scratch for today's warranty conditions.

'Add to that the fact that retail customers now expect new car quality in a used vehicle and the impact on the market right now is a constant search for good stock,' he added. 'This demand for quality cars has kept prices mainly firm and, indeed, led to an up-turn in some sectors. Some mini- MPVs have actually risen in value in the October edition of Black Book.

'All of this is, of course, great news for disposers because they are seeing strong returns for desirable cars.'

According to Styles, the rewards for presenting a used car to the trade in the best possible condition are measurably greater during such a time of stock shortage.

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