The following bit of news is no doubt good news for consumers, but not for used car owners: according to Auto Trader used car prices have started to soften somewhat.
The company is now publishing a new quarterly index that will specifically track trends in the used car market. According to the first Index (that has just been published), the average price of used cars in the UK has started to decline - reflecting the fact that customers are switching to smaller cars and that the economy remains weak.
While the average asking price of a used car showed only a marginal drop of 1.3% between the second quarter of 2011 and the same period last year, the fall was much more pronounced when it came to bigger cars. The Peugeot 607 and Citroen C6 saw a decline of 26% in their respective market values.
Even sports car prices felt the pinch, with older versions of the MX5, for example, selling for 18.5% less (in real terms) than a year ago. Regional differences were also quite pronounced: prices in London dropped more than the national average, from £10,247 to £9,644 - a real drop of 10.4%.
Other indicators confirm the slower market. For example: cars are now being advertised for much longer, a reflection of the fact that buyers are possibly more reluctant to commit themselves to an auto loan than before.
In Scotland, Yorkshire and the East of England, prices actually increased marginally compared to a year ago.
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