Although the used car market has undergone something of a resurgence in recent months, with consistent rises in valuations and average sales prices recorded over the past quarter, the latest figures suggest that there was a slight drop off in February.
This is according to the BCA, which revealed that the typical age and mileage of a used vehicle remained identical last month to the levels seen in May, but average values fell by over £100 to £7,476.
Of course these statistics need to be put in context on an annual basis, with used car values in February this year exceeding those seen during the same period in 2013 by 6.8 per cent.
Winds of change
BCA spokesperson Simon Henstock revealed that this faltering of used values should not be seen as a signal of dramatic changes in the marketplace. Rather the impact of the summer usually leads to a little bit of a fluctuation in this area, with other factors playing a role in influencing the prices paid last month.
By getting a free car valuation it is possible for drivers to work out how much their current vehicle is worth and thus have an easier time of it when shopping around for a replacement and thinking about whether or not to pursue the part exchange route. You could try and increase the value by little touches, a respray or go all out and visit www.acefinishcarrepairs.com a Cambridge powder coating alloy wheels specialist, or visit someone closer to home.
Henstock pointed out that in most cases demand for secondhand cars is outstripping supply in the UK, facilitating the rise in values seen before June and helping the market to remain relatively buoyant even as it undergoes seasonal mutations.
In a warning to vendors, Henstock said that used car valuations should reflect not just the age and the mileage of the vehicle, but its condition. By overvaluing vehicles which have not been especially well maintained, he argues that buyer confidence can be damaged and vendors will be losing out in the long run.
Speed limit limbo
This week it was also revealed that plans to bring 60mph speed limits to certain parts of motorways in the UK will no longer be going ahead, according to Auto Express.
The idea had initially been mooted by the Highways Agency, with the suggestion being that stretches of the M1 and the M3 would have the new sub-70mph limit imposed for a 12 hour period each day between 7am and 7pm. But Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has put paid to the concept and asked the agency to formulate a different approach.
The intention was to use the reduced speed to improve the quality of the air along these important roads, all of which is part of the government’s plans to implement so-called ‘smart motorways’ between now and 2021.
£24 billion is being spent on the project, most of which will go towards increasing the capacity of highways and alleviating much of the congestion which can have a significant impact on average speeds, especially during peak periods.
There are still many years to go until drivers will see the benefits of these changes, but the first smart motorway projects will have been completed by 2016.