Consumers offloading thirsty 4x4s in favour of smaller, economical vehicles
21 October 2008

Auto Trader has revealed that adverts for private cars have increased by 6 per cent in the year to September, with the rising demand attributed to sellers wanting to sell old cars to trade into cleaner and more economical models.

September and October have both seen swelling demand for private adverts, especially for the least efficient cars. Trader Media says that it is currently listing nearly 11,000 Land Rover models for sale.

A recent survey carried out by Glass’s Guide said that 38 per cent of car buyers are looking to move into a smaller and more efficient car the next time they change vehicles.

Anecdotal evidence from inside the motor trade suggests that the spiralling values of larger cars is having the effect of persuading owners of similar vehicles to try and realise the value of their vehicles before prices fall further, bringing more unpopular models to market.

The used market is also being further depressed by families selling second cars in the face of rising motoring costs.

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Comments
15

21 October 2008

Damn I bet I 'miss it' when it bottoms out there will be some steals out there to buy, but I have another year yet before I can dump my current car.

I fancy a nice used 4x4 well loaded and I will run it until its paid off (company allowance) and dump it. Fuel economy? other peoples problem, I have a company fuel card.

So please someone have ready for me next September an under 1 year old Nissan X-Trail or Honda CRV, heck perhaps a Freelander? about 9000 miles on the clock, silver in about a years time, offer price..£13500 should cover it.

21 October 2008

A lot of these big 4x4s have always seemed to a lot of people - and I suppose I'm including myself here - indicative of a kind of decadence, and it's probably fitting that the credit crunch seems to signalling their demise. Party's over, leave the keys to your behemoth at reception.

Future generations may well wonder at the fact that we considered cars like the RR Sport (average range mpg 24, average range CO2 311 g/km, figures from Parkers) to be considered feasible, widely adopted personal transportation, while trying to get their head around the concept of a "sport" 4x4.

Let's just hope that they get so economically unrealistic to run that the only place they are worth driving to is the scrappies.

21 October 2008

Let's not forget, please, that there are those among us that need the reassurance of a 4x4. There are people that genuinely live in remote rural areas that have to contend with regular flooding or snowdrifts or constant mud slicks on the farm tracks that we live near or on. Increased traction and clearance are valuable assets for some of us- not to most of us of course.

Please try and remember that we're not all driving Cayennes or RR Sports to make up for some area of 'personal' inadequacy. Slag the Chelsea tractors off by all means but don't make the assumption that these cars are pointless- they're just misused.

22 October 2008

I suspect that the cashing out of 4X4s will be a temporary phenomenon as no sooner as the economy recovers so too will demand rise again for these behemoths. There is no denying that 4X4s project a sense of security, whether founded or unfounded, that appeals to some parents whose daily routine includes driving their tots to school. And in terms of these vehicles being associated with high status, that is certainly open to debate, particularly when one looks at the Cayenne – or perhaps I am confusing status with questionable taste. Not to forget the environment issue, I think we can see that some people are absolutely oblivious, or simply too selfish, to even think about CO2 emissions and mileage – though this can certainly apply to all types of vehicles. As for future generations’ view towards 4X4s, look no further than Lewis Hamilton who chose the latest GL320 CDI as his company car – a replacement for his previous GL. I guess he was a big fan of Tonka Toys as much as R/C cars when growing up!

22 October 2008

[quote kerrecoe]

Let's not forget, please, that there are those among us that need the reassurance of a 4x4. There are people that genuinely live in remote rural areas that have to contend with regular flooding or snowdrifts or constant mud slicks on the farm tracks that we live near or on. Increased traction and clearance are valuable assets for some of us- not to most of us of course.

Please try and remember that we're not all driving Cayennes or RR Sports to make up for some area of 'personal' inadequacy. Slag the Chelsea tractors off by all means but don't make the assumption that these cars are pointless- they're just misused.

[/quote]

Hear hear ! Robot's post is shocking in my view. He takes pleasure in something that has no effect on him costing someone else a fortune to run. Resentful nonsense. If someone wants to run a 4x4 then it's no one else's business but their own why they do it.

22 October 2008

Interesting points - Kerrecoe, I've no problem with people who genuinely need a 4x4 having one, of course. Although, interestingly enough, I live in a pretty rural area and it's always a subject of some interest to me how people who live up inhospitable tracks often seem to favour anything but offroaders. The rural less-well-off seem to travel the winter roads as easily in old Metros and Mondeos as their better-bank-balanced neighbours in RRs and the like. Especially now snow seems to be a thing of the past in most parts of the country.

Bruce's points are, I think, more revealing. The psychology of the 4x4 is that it provides a cocoon-like experience where the driver feels pretty much invincible. So your comment that big 4x4s have no effect on others is indicative of a certain offroader mindset. Of course these vehicles have an impact on others - often quite literally when they plough into mainstream family cars. They also use huge amounts of all kinds of limited natural resources and - if you believe the climate change argument - generate much more CO2 than is strictly necessary for getting from point A to point B. We live in a society - pretty much everything we do has an impact on someone else.

22 October 2008

Robot - please let me respond. I'd like to take each one of your points in turn.

[quote RobotBoogie]The psychology of the 4x4 is that it provides a cocoon-like experience where the driver feels pretty much invincible.[/quote]

This is just your view of the way other people might be thinking. How can you possibly know what other people's psychology is ? It rather seems to me that you have made up your own mind about 4x4s and are smearing 4x4 owners with your own pschology.

[quote RobotBoogie]Of course these vehicles have an impact on others - often quite literally when they plough into mainstream family cars.[/quote]

A mainstream family car can cause a huge amount of damage itself. So can lorries, vans, large saloon cars. Large metal objects moving at speed cause damage, you know, if they hit something. Surely liability, fault and the cirumstances of an accident must have some bearing on who takes the moral high ground in a crash too ? I think it's severely uninformed to assume that it is the 4x4 driver. An 18 year old in a Vauxhall Nova travelling at 100bhp in the fog crashing into a stationary 4x4 could be perceived as more dangerous if it is the hypothetical game you would like to play.

[quote RobotBoogie]They also use huge amounts of all kinds of limited natural resources[/quote]

Not huge amounts actually in absolute terms. Compared to a coal fired power station ? Some of them use more than other cars, sure, but then so what ? There's plenty of natural resources out there. No effect on you at all.

[quote RobotBoogie]and - if you believe the climate change argument - generate much more CO2 than is strictly necessary for getting from point A to point B. [/quote]

What is the amount of CO2 that is strictly necessary in your book and who are you to say it is too much. Look, CO2 accounts for less then 0.5% of our atmosphere. Of that 0.5%, less than 5% (i.e.0.025% in absolute terms) is produced by humans. Someone driving a 4x4 has an effect on you that is so small it is inconsequential. The difference between a 4x4 and a non-4x4 (oooh, do we include lorries, HGVs in that ?) is even more inconsequential. A red herring that you have wolfed down with gusto.

[quote RobotBoogie]We live in a society - pretty much everything we do has an impact on someone else.[/quote]

Agreed but it's a matter of priorities. Did you know that America gets 50% of its energy from coal still ? You need to look at the real issues, with respect. What on earth is the point of continually hitting the consumer in the neck when the cumulative effect of punishing them will not achieve the aims ? Well, the answer to that one is obvious. Its the consumer that pays tax the most easily and has less mechanisms to avoid it. Maybe we should all declare ourselved plc's ?

22 October 2008

Lets not get to wound up about 4x4's here surely the point for enthusiasts everywhere is that CHOICE is the issue, we should be able to drive what ever floats our particular boat! I don't see the same diatribe against high performance cars or even the 'lads' cars with huge exhausts and cat bypasses, just think of these ill tuned cars and the CO2 that they must be churning out...maybe as driving enthusiasts we fail to see the personal benefit some of these cars offer.

22 October 2008

Hey, Bruce. If I number my responses below, it's cos I'm just trying to keep my thoughts organised, rather than being rude!

1. Lancaster University did a big study on the pyschology of 4x4 drivers which is what I'm referring to. In fact, compared to the conclusions of the study, I'm pretty soft on them!

2. US studies show that 4x4s involved in accidents are more than twice as likely as saloon cars to inflict injury on other road users, especially pedestrians. If you Google "4x4, accidents", you'll find loads of studies.

3. If you'll pardon me, I find the assertion that there are "plenty of natural resources" out there a bit glib. The main natural resource consumption that we could talk about - fuel - may already have peaked in production and is certainly finite.

4. I can't see the point of getting into the whole CO2 debate in general but fact remains that a big 4x4 like an RR Sport produces 2-3 times as much carbon as a saloon car or MPV with comparible interior space and accommodation. That's a big multiplier.

5. Re the following post about sports cars, Max Power specials, etc, then I'm no big fan of those either. But the thing about big 4x4s is that there are so many of them around now that they have become really conspicuous. It also seems that other performance vehicles can be made a lot more environmentally friendly - even a sports car as extreme as an R8 diesel has better CO2 figures than an RR Sport.

22 October 2008

[quote Davehods]we should be able to drive what ever floats our particular boat! [/quote]

But should we? Say for arguments sake you want to drive a Ferrari F430 putting out 420g/km CO2 and I can make the same commute to work in the same time, comfort, safety etc in a an Audi A4 2.0 tdi 143 g/km we are both still polluting the same air, we both breath and both share. So why do you have the right to pollute the air 3 times as much - air that is half mine? if you could pollute just your 'share' then that would be fine but you can't. It comes down to social equality, does one person have greater rights than another? To be honest I am actually in favour of choice if it could be made so as not to infringe others lives, perhaps a device to collect all car emissions, and a law that the driver has to take it home and let it loose in their own home?

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