24 November 2003

Anyone trying to trade in an older car at a franchised dealer is having an increasingly hard time of it, according to trade price guide Glass’s.

Main dealers are coming round to the opinion that passing on older cars is becoming more trouble than it’s worth and are refusing to take them as part-exchanges, even if it means losing out on the sale.

Autocar used car expert John Coates isn’t surprised by the trend. ‘For most big franchises bangers start as late as P-reg. With the expensive warranties offered by approved used schemes, plus the huge drop in values suffered by much newer models, why would dealers want to be saddled by selling less profitable, less reliable stuff on the forecourts?’ And there’s no financial incentive to punt them out to other sources.

It’s not all bad news, though. Even though values are dropping sharply, older superminis are still in demand because of their universal popularity among private buyers. Older MPVs and big off-roaders are also doing good business, so trading them in for a newer model shouldn’t be too much of a problem, either.

The good news, say the experts, is that anyone trying to harness as much cash as possible for their older motor now has a better chance at auctions. Buying cars under the hammer is now a more popular hunting ground for private buyers and prices are rising.

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