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FLEET SPEAK: 12 July 2011 - Making a value judgment

Date: 12 July 2011   |   Author:

Paul Barker is editor of BusinessCar

The subject of residual values is always one where heated discussions can be found, due to the large amounts of money at stake if predictions are too high or too low.

So the move by Glass's to carry out the biggest change to its system in nearly 80 years is intriguing.

A few years ago I made the mistake of calling RV prediction a "dark art", and as a result spent the day with Cap being talked through exactly how scientific its value setting actually is, taking and interpreting a massive amount of data from a variety of sources to determine used car values.

The full detail behind Glass's new system is yet to emerge, but the firm looks to be turning its process on its head by starting with market data and then using human input to refine it.

Glass's has been criticised in the past for having predictions that were at the higher end of the market, and this revamp should hopefully address that, as well as creating some interesting conversation in the industry as to what difference it will make to the market.

The truth is that all systems are prone to inaccuracies, that's why they're called 'guides', and some of the criticisms laid at the door of Glass's, Cap and the other RV experts is a little harsh given the unpredictable nature of the car industry.

It will certainly be interesting to track what difference a huge revamp will make to Glass's values, and the firm can be safe in the knowledge that all eyes will be on it early next year.

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