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WEAK new car sales, coupled with the strength of the second hand market, are helping used car values buck the usual seasonal decline.
Used values dropped by just 1.5% at three years and 60,000 miles, in November compared to a usual decline of 2.3%.
The market varied between sectors with larger 4x4s only dropping by 0.9%. Small and medium SUVs fell by 1.4% and 1.5% respectively. Traditional segments, city car, supermini, lower and upper medium all dropped by close to the average, with upper medium marginally the worst affected, down 1.6%.
Used car demand dropped away slightly in November, but this is a normal occurrence for the time of year. It is clear that the drop off was not as acute as it has been in previous years at this time.
Derren Martin, head of UK valuations at cap hpi said: “New car supply is unlikely to dramatically increase in the last month of the year, with WLTP supply constraints evident for some manufacturers for the next few months at least.
“It will be interesting, however, to see if those that are in a position to do so chase volume and market share which could lead to a strong month for rental registrations as well as increased pre-registration activity.
“Used car supply will almost certainly stay steady in the short-term, however. Consumer demand will continue to fall, although some trade buyers will be active in December, stocking up for the New Year.”
The electric sector saw particular strength and cap hpi believes that consumer acceptance of EVs is increasing, as range improves. Smaller EVs, in particular, are more in vogue than ever and the resulting demand is supporting values.
The Nissan Leaf, Peugeot iOn and Renault Zoe models continued to appreciate in value.
Overall, petrol and diesel car values behaved similarly to each other in November, continuing the trend that the used car buyer is less concerned by fuel-type than the new car buyer, who tends to be led more by fiscal reasons.
Martin added: “The first quarter of 2019 will be an interesting one. A healthy start to the year is likely, and prices will likely stay high. What is clear is that any price movements will be very manufacturer and model specific.”