Volatile market hits valuations

Article date: 27 August 2008

  • HPI's valuation expert, Martin Keighley, explains

The used car market remains volatile. Though demand for low-mileage vehicles, between two and five years old, remains high, older, executive and ex-fleet models are proving less buoyant. Retail demand continues to fall and next month's arrival of the 58 plate is unlikely to slow the decline.

The ex-fleet market is a concern. Fleet managers are overvaluing their stock and subsequently many of these vehicles, often overpriced and out of condition are failing to shift at the auction hall. An influx of executive models such as 3/5/7 Series and A4/A6 is also likely to cause problems. With large numbers expected to be defleeted towards the end of the year, the fall in values is expected to hit these models the hardest.

All this means providing accurate vehicle valuations is proving a harder science than for many years. Martin Keighley comments: "Accurate vehicle valuation hasn't been so difficult for some 15-20 years. However today's market should be looked at as part of a normal cycle rather than an apocalypse."

Valuations have dropped across the board this month. Hardest hit are the "gas-guzzlers", including some of the bigger diesels. Vehicles in the proposed higher vehicle excise duty are also affected with most seeing a decline in value of on average around 5%.

Despite the tough market conditions, many dealers continue to trade profitably and though things are likely to get worse before improving, positive shoots of recovery, such as relatively low interest rates, are visible. The situation could be eased by the government though, admits Martin.

"Doubts remain over the retrospective changes to vehicle excise duty which are adding to the nationwide lack of confidence. Clarification or an alternative plan may help sweep away some uncertainty."


For press enquiries please contact:
Margot Tomkinson, Dominic Dennis and Justine Hoadley at HSL 0208 977 9132.

Notes to editors:

About HPI Valuations
HPI's valuation service is offered in partnership with used vehicle experts Vehicle Information Publishing Ltd (VIP) who have provided current and forecast used values for cars and light commercials for over four years. As well as Fleets and Dealers, their customers include What Car? and Wisebuyers. VIP was founded by Martin Keighley and Alan Senior who together, spent more than 35 years working for CAP Motor Research. VIP launched the TraderGuide book in 2005 and then the PC application VIPDATA (www.vipdata.co.uk/) in 2007, providing values for over 30,000 vehicles.

Martin Keighley
Martin Keighley has spent his entire career working with used vehicle valuations in one form or another. During 17 years at CAP Motor Research he was Editor, Publisher and Director of the Black Book. This followed seven years in used vehicle remarketing. Brief spells in auction management and leasing operations provide a unique mix of experience and knowledge. He is one of the most experienced used car pricing experts in the UK.  

About HPI
Originally established in 1938, HPI Limited is a primary source of vehicle information for the UK motor industry and motoring consumer, which since August 2004 has been owned by Norwich Union. HPI encompasses both the HPI database of all UK road registered vehicle descriptions and histories, and the National Mileage Register which holds in excess of 125 million mileage readings.

Together, HPI and NMR represent the UK's largest vehicle information source, combining and interpreting data from government agencies, industry bodies, private organisations, the police and the general public. Registering with HPI helps companies to protect their financial interests in motor vehicles and a wide range of other mobile assets. HPI Checks give purchasers instant confirmation of whether vehicles are correctly described, known to be subject to outstanding finance or serious accident damage, or recorded as stolen or "clocked".

'HPI' and the HPI logo are registered trademarks of HPI Limited. 

(1) All prices include VAT and are correct as of 1 January 2006
(2) Mileage Data is not covered by The HPI Guarantee
(3) The HPI Guarantee is subject to terms and conditions

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