In 2005, the number of used upper-medium and lower-medium cars sold dropped for the first time, although these two markets are still the largest in terms of volume.
However, niche sectors such as SUVs and budget cars saw considerable growth, according to BCA’s annual Used Car Market Report.
The report claims: ‘Lower-mediums, such as Vauxhall Astras or Fiat Stilos, saw sales drop by 3.8% in 2005 compared to 2004, despite being the most sold used car segment.
‘The second most popular segment, upper-medium, saw a drop of 4.1% in 2005.’
The report said there were some ‘spectacular movements’ in used car sales from some of the niche sectors in 2005.
It reported: ‘One of the sectors seeing the most success has been SUVs.
‘However, as a result of growing competition, SUV residual values have been coming down, but continue to outperform the others. Sales of used SUVs increased by 9.3% last year compared to 2004.’
Mark Norman, business development manager at CAP said: ‘It’s no longer about buying just hatchbacks and saloons. The canny fleet manager will spread the risk by diversifying into niche sectors as well.’