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Weather and stock keep used car market in stable, reports CDL VIPDATA

Gavin Amos, head of valuation services, said: ‘The recent bout of snow should have caused the phones to start ringing at any dealership with a stock of 4x4s but it hasn’t been the case. Due to the late snowfall, many buyers have chanced it and rather than going out and buying a vehicle with all-weather capability they are prepared to sit the poor weather out and persevere until spring as better weather beckons.’

With regards to the new car registrations and the new plate, Amos said: ‘Order banks for the retail market are looking steady, and with some big registration targets being set by manufacturers, focus has now changed to building up more orders for 13 plate. Some Premium brands are still experiencing waiting lists for certain models which isn’t helping the dealers who haven’t been forward thinking from the end of last year. The new model Audi A3 is a prime example.

‘Some manufacturers tried to address the supply issues by upping their allocation to dealer groups towards the back end of last year. Forward-thinking dealers put their orders in whether they had customers for the cars or not, choosing specifications that were right for the market. As there isn’t much physical stock available, this has paid off as they can sell these pre-ordered vehicles “off the shelf” in the full knowledge that they will arrive for March delivery.

‘Values on the whole remain strong after the January spike but coupé and cabriolet models continue to struggle to find buyers. Worst affected are mainly non-premium brands such as: Ford Focus CC, Peugeot 307CC, Renault Megane CC and Vauxhall Astra, etc. Although demand is also slow for Audi A4 cabriolet, BMW 3 Series coupé and cab and Mercedes CLK coupé and cab. This end of the market is always slow at this time of year but it is different this year as values never really gained a foothold even in the dizzy highs of last summer.’

He added: ‘4x4s have also suffered a strange few months with demand not really happening as we’ve mentioned even when the snow actually came. Their high running costs and a mild winter last year continue to play a major part in keeping values steady.’

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.