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Used car market providing opportunities and challenges

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Apr 24 2012

The continuing alteration in the profile of used cars that are available in the current market is resulting in the creation of both opportunities and challenges in the retail sector, says the VLA. Although there is not necessarily a large shortage of used stock in overall terms, there is an evident lack of availability in low mileage, two to four year old stock.

As a result of this lack of availability, these traditional, retail-quality, rarer vehicles, some of which may have been used in car leasing schemes, are now commanding top prices with dealers competing for the prize stock. Of particular note is the fact that franchised dealers all across the board are being forced to extend their parameters of mileage and age upwards in order to be able to keep the forecourts stocked. Because of this, many of them now have to become more active in the wholesale market, according to the VLA. In addition to this, they are also discovering that a large proportion of their part exchanges, which were once able to provide them with a good selection of stock, are now uneconomical to be able to refurbish to the necessary manufacturer approved retail standard.

The VLA notes that many are now moving to a more specialised model/segment specific based proposition, for example, estates, diesels, 4x4s etc, while others are just moving the mileage and age ranges further up, with value based offerings.

Convertibles are one segment that is thriving, with prices and demand both remaining high.

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