The unlikely situation has been created because of the decrease in popularity of the upper-medium sector and the different life-cycle stages of the four cars.
Because the Focus and Astra have been launched more recently, the availability of used examples is low relative to current retail demand, according to used car specialist EurotaxGlass’s.
By contrast, the Mondeo and Vectra are a later stage in their planned life-cycle and, as a consequence, demand has eased back and supply is now comparatively plentiful.
For example, a 2005 05-plate Ford Focus 2.0 Zetec five-door with 8,000 miles currently has a retail price around £11,900, compared to £10,550 for a 2005 05-plate Ford Mondeo 2.0 Zetec five-door with identical mileage.
Glass’s says the situation is the same with Vauxhall. A 2005 05-plate Vauxhall Astra 1.6 Club five-door with 8,000 miles, has a retail price of around £10,100 at the moment, against a 2005 05-plate Vauxhall Vectra 1.8 Club five-door for £9,600, despite it having a more powerful engine and being a bigger car. However, the situation is not likely to be permanent, and the upper-medium cars should make a comeback. Adrian Rushmore, managing editor at EurotaxGlass’s, said: ‘As availability steadily improves, we can expect to see values for the Focus and Astra fall back.
‘The honeymoon for the latest Astra may be nearing its end, with the used retail price premium over the Vectra having fallen consistently during the past 12 months.
‘The values of volume-brand upper-medium cars have been improving slowly over the past year.’