Opinions are still split on the health or otherwise of the used car market.
According to experts in the fleet industry, the market is holding up well, while a consumer guide is claiming that a glut of cars is causing prices to fall.
Andrew Shepherd, senior group auctioneer at Manheim Auctions, believes that the used car market is holding up well.
He puts this down primarily to the lack of stock in the auction halls.
He said: ‘I feel that if we had continued to see large volumes of used vehicles, today’s market would be very different.’
Shepherd claimed that with a large selection of 90,000-100,000-mile stock available, many of them requiring paint and bodywork repairs, buyers are searching hard for the real quality stock, which remains scarce.
He added that where they do appear in the halls, genuine cars are achieving CAP clean and better, as are the higher mileage vehicles that have good specification and are in good condition.
Shepherd said: ‘Used car buyers are one of the selective groups, basing their purchases on quality and price – vendors’ reserve prices should therefore be carefully considered.
‘Set them too high and you risk not getting a bid on the car and the longer the car is at the auction, the less it is worth.’
However, price guide WiseBuyers reckoned that consumers hunting for a used car can afford to be fussy shoppers, because the used car supply network is on the verge of being choked.
WiseBuyer editor Nic Barfield said: ‘Supply is finally starting to outstrip demand. The net result is further downward pressure on used values as the market tries to contend and adjust.’
Apart from top condition diesel-engined superminis and family cars, used values are following an almost universal downward pattern, Barfield claimed, with some Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Ford, Vauxhall, Nissan, Rover and Toyota models shedding up to 5% in value in recent weeks. Other heavy fallers, according to WiseBuyer, are the Citroen Berlingo, Chrysler PT Cruiser, Peugeot 306 and 307 and the old-shaped Astra and Vectra.