UK used car prices falling as economy struggles to recover image

The average price of a used car in the United Kingdom has dropped below £9,000, as values decreased by 3.65 percent in just three months, an Auto Trader research reveals.

According to the car specialist’s quarterly index, the average pre-owned car now sells for £8,870, a fall of £336 compared to the previous quarter. It is the sharpest decline in used car prices since Auto Trader has launched its index at the beginning of 2010. The loss in value is due to weaker consumer and business demand, as people hold onto their cars for longer.

However, the research also found that newer used vehicles are increasing in value, as low new car registrations since the credit crunch have resulted in fewer cars under three years available to the used car market.

Almost all vehicle types saw a decrease in price year on year, with the largest losses being recorded among large cars, up to 20.1 percent. Only luxury saloons and 4x4s saw increases, of up to 2.1 percent and 3.2 percent respectively. As winter approaches, more people are looking to buy a 4×4 to tackle perilous conditions more easily.

Retail prices for cars under three years old are increasing over the third quarter of 2010, with the top five best sold models recording increases of up to 6 percent. The Vauxhall Astra and Ford Fiesta are more expensive by 4 percent, the Vauxhall Corsa by 2 percent, the Ford Focus by 5 percent and the Volkswagen Golf by 6 percent.