Shorter shelf-life for new car models leaves drivers out of pocket

Time 8:47 am, May 22, 2013

70773-a-forWITH new car models hitting an all time high, their ‘shelf-life’ is rapidly decreasing and leaving motorist with empty wallets, says valuations experts CAP.

Motorists currently benefit from the most modern choices and constantly updated new cars in the history of trading.

But due to new model introductions of the past three decades, an analysis by CAP shows past models are suffering from an even shorter ‘sell-by-date’ and drivers are finding themselves with a hole in their pocket.

While motorists benefit from rapid advances in new car quality, they’re left to pay a heavy price in increased depreciation as past models go out of fashion quicker than they did 30 years ago.

Known as the ‘lifecycle’, CAP’s analysis reveals that the period between replacement model introductions or significant styling ‘facelifts’ has shrunk from around 10 years in the 1970s and 80s to around three-four years today.

CAP new car expert David Saville said: ‘As Ford roll out their latest generation Fiesta and Volkswagen bring out their latest Golf, you can’t help feeling like it’s only two minutes since the previous generation was introduced in each case.

‘The outgoing Fiesta was produced between October 2008 and October 2012 and the previous Golf ran from November 2009 until November 2012.’

Saville added: ‘Looking back into history the first generation Fiesta was introduced in 1976 and ran until 1983. The Golf was introduced in 1974 and remained substantially unchanged until 1983. Therefore, over three decades these popular models have gone from a lifecycle approaching 10 years to around four years with quite substantial technical changes.

‘CAP analysis consistently shows the greater depreciation is a particular issue for manufacturers who have adopted model lifecycles below the standard three to four-year ownership pattern.

‘In fact, CAP have seen that certain manufacturers, who have a history of dramatically changing their models over the a relatively short period, have begun to take a step back and tone down visual changes so as not to damage the previous generation model’s second hand value quickly.’

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