Fleet News

Cabriolets show a high residual value

'THE choice on offer in the new car market has grown so much that keeping track of what is available represents a full-time job. For example, according to the CAP New Vehicle Data database there are now 36 different MPVs, of varying sizes, different engines and a multitude of spec combinations.

Another area of growth has been the convertible. There are now 44 different models available and when the variations in engine type and derivatives are added up, it runs into hundreds. The fleet buyer now faces a major task in simply knowing what is on offer.

When choosing cars for fleet, the ideal solution revolves around satisfying the customer and the future second user.

This means understanding what is on offer and what will hold its value. While MPVs have been strong performers in the used market, this has hardly been unexpected given their practicality and image. But perhaps a more surprising development identified by research in the used market is the performance of cabriolets.

It seems the unpredictability of our climate is no barrier to the desire for open top motoring. Looking at the performance of soft tops over the past 12 months, we have identified many which have risen in value, year on year.

Taking some of the best examples, a Mercedes CLK Cabriolet 200 Elegance, on an 01 Y, with 60,000 miles, is this month worth a remarkable £1,300 more than an 00 W this time last year, and identical in every respect. A Volvo C70 T5 Cabriolet has risen, using the same parameters, by £1,100.

Cabriolets may not be the typical fleet vehicle, but this exercise reveals the residual value success that can be achieved by choosing the right cars and disposing at the right time.

Lowdown on new tax rules

There is much comment at the moment about the new DVLA tax rules. These mainly impact on dealers and traders but there are also implications for the fleet industry. The rules are simple, despite the confusion that has apparently arisen, and state that motor traders and dealers are not obliged to register vehicles purchased or taken in part exchange for up to three months from the date they were acquired.

Therefore, there is no need to register them with a 'statutory off-road notice' (SORN) during that time. After three months, however, if the vehicle is still in their possession the law requires that they register themselves as keepers and licence or notify SORN as appropriate.

The implication for the leasing industry is that all documentation must be completed and sent in as required when cars are disposed of.

This also has a knock-on effect for the leasing industry, as disposers must ensure they complete and send in all documentation for any sold vehicles to avoid future confusion as well as smooth out the selling process.'

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