Fleet News

Soft tops are hot property

THE weather may have turned colder, but premium badge convertible cars hold their value better than any other type of vehicle, according to Glass's Information Services.

Findings from its bespoke research department, Glass's Market Intelligence Service, suggests that residual values for prestige convertibles, such as the Mercedes-Benz CLK Cabriolet and Audi A4 Cabriolet, and larger 4x4 sports utility vehicles, for example the Range Rover and BMW X5, aged one to three years old, outperform those of the rest of the market. Over a 12-month period the average residual value of a three year-old car fell 0.6% to 45%.

Alan Cole, consultant for Glass's Market Intelligence, said: 'Looking at the next three years, we are expecting an overall decline in used car values because the used market will have to bear the consequences of record new car sales in 2002 and 2003.

'Furthermore, the growth in consumer spending will slow over this period because current levels of mortgage equity release are unsustainable and taxation is expected to be an increasing burden.'

He added: 'However, within this market-wide decline in residuals, we are predicting relative stability in the values of upper-medium cars, large cars, general market coupes, full-size MPVs and prestige and volume brand convertibles.'

Glass's expects residual values to improve for superminis and small cars, lower-medium cars, luxury saloons and lifestyle 4x4s.

'Premium upper-medium cars, premium large cars, compact MPVs and full-size 4x4s should lose ground compared to the rest of the market,' Cole said.

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