Last month, we anticipated how keen the UK’s used car dealers were to get their stock moving in the start-of-year sales. But in the same breath, we told you to be on your guard, as the trade, unlike may, have enjoyed more than their fare share of prosperity lately, so bargains and easy buys are hard to come by.
While we’d love to tell you that things are about to change and values will fall in buyers’ favour, that’s simply not the case. The used car industry is holding up well and prices are staying strong. You need only look at Manheim, the world’s largest automotive auctions company, to see just how healthy the second-hand car business is. The company has just reported that its wholesale used car values increased by an enormous 34.7 per cent yearon- year in the UK throughout 2009.
Granted, prices were down in the dumps at the end of 2008, but that’s still a spectacular improvement. What’s more, the company has recently opened a new super centre at a former US Airforce base in Bruntingthorpe, Leicestershire. In the fi nal week of January, Manheim hosted a 365-car sale at the site, 60 of which were prestige models. Over 300 buyers attended, either in person or via the company’s online bidding portal, and the sale topped £3.5 million. If that doesn’t prove that the used scene is big business, then we don’t know what will!
While it’s great to see part of the economy doing well again, it’s also great to see companies that are working to keep the costs of owning and running a used car to a minimum. Our interview on page 91 with David Bevan, Director at Euro Car Parts, proves that there are big fi rms out there dedicated to keeping your running costs to a minimum, which is a refreshing change.