VRA April/May report

Time 9:48 am, May 7, 2011

vralogoThe Vehicle Remarketing Association (VRA) has launched its latest monthly headline report for April/May.

It looks at a number of the factors which are driving supply and demand.

The latest report shows:

April’s 18 days of trading

In the past three to four weeks the used market has changed dramatically with it becoming a buyer’s market with prices trying to realign themselves across the market and the valuation guides moving in response to the varied market conditions.

April’s 18 days of trading and two weeks of school holidays didn’t help the used sector with fewer trade buyers in the market.

Japanese earthquake

A number of car brands are seeing disruption from the Japanese earthquake with delivery delays further extended and production capacity reduced so putting further pressure on the new as well as used market. This situation may even continue into quarter three such has been the impact of the natural disaster on the entire motor industry.

Long lead times

Long lead times and reduced manufacturer production have also impacted on the rental fleets, forcing them to extend their replacement cycles, thus restricting the number of cars being sold off into the used market.

‘Range Rover Sports are worth £7-8k less than they were eight weeks previously’

Retail demand for new cars in general dropped off in April so further restricting supply of part exchanges into the second hand market. All of these market situations go some way to further restricting supply of used cars coming into the market, which longer term will also impact on the supply of used cars in 2-3 years time.

Smaller diesels

Following a pattern of increased interest by consumers in smaller diesel engines and therefore lower running costs, the market moved yet again in April, early May. 1.6-litre turbo diesels are being preferred to larger 2.0- litre and above engines, with less interest in the larger diesel engine models.

That contrasts with the higher end of the 4×4 sector where the likes of Range Rover Sports are worth £7-8k less than they were eight weeks previously. The smaller 4×4 SUV sector hasn’t been impacted so severely with the right specced models finding new homes, albeit at slightly lower prices than two months ago.


May and June are being predicted as recovery months for the used car market with the last of the remaining dealer part exchanges from the new registration activity in March being cleared and the fleet and leasing stock finding buyers in larger quantities.

James Batchelor's avatar

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer. In October 2021 he became Car Dealer's associate editor.

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