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Glass's BusinessCar used car spotlight: July 2016

Date: 13 July 2016

Dwindling supply sees large MPVs values rise

With the seemingly relentless growth in the number of SUVs and crossovers sold over the last decade, there have inevitably been some casualties in other sectors of the car market, as they fall out of favour and fashion.

One such group is the large MPV. As manufacturers have turned their attention to the burgeoning popularity of models like the X5 and X-Trail, something had to give. It was fading stars such as the Renault Espace and Chrysler Voyager that were the casualties while sales declined for other people carriers like the Ford Galaxy, VW Sharan and Seat Alhambra as the lure of the 4x4 became too strong.

The effect on the used market for large MPVs has been that an ever dwindling supply of this now-niche sector has led to a shortage of used examples in the market. These are now often snapped up by private hire companies or bought to sell onto "football mums" to ferry around her son's or daughter's five-a-side team.

Therefore good quality versions with reasonable mileage can often only be acquired by paying over book money when they appear at auction. This becomes even more apparent if fitted with some of the more desirable options including privacy glass, panoramic roof, leather interior, satellite navigation, alloy wheels and black paint.

Rob Donaldson, car editor, Glass's

Summer car festivals values

Not so long ago it was commonplace to rely on used values increasing for convertible cars in summer, in the same way that you could rely on 4x4 values going down. Not any more - for some time we have reported that the convertible and 4x4 markets are rarely affected by the seasons, apart from countrywide snow storms for the latter. 

However, seasonality does still exist in the used car sector, just not where you might expect.

If a car has sporting prowess then the summer brings a desire from the petrolheads among us to seek out performance toys to flex one's prowess on the open road, or relive our youth.

With lighter summer evenings and events like the Goodwood Festival of Speed upon us, hot hatch, sleeper saloons and performance coupes and convertibles in the sub-£15,000 and sub-20 years of age categories see a boost in demand.

From spring into summer months, we see increasing demand and values for such cars as Audi S, RS, and TT models, BMW M cars, Mercedes AMG models, Lotuses, Nissan Z cars, and Toyota GT86s to name a few. These are modern classic cars in the making with the added twist of performance.

Jonathan Brown, car editor, Glass's

Is high mileage on a used car such a problem?

A lot of people choose to look for a used car with as low a mileage as possible, as there is a belief that if the mileage is lower, the vehicle will be better. However, this is not necessarily the case.

A car that has covered in excess of 30,000 miles a year will have had to average around 100 miles every day. This means that it will have probably been sat on a motorway for a large part of its working life, which is not a bad way to cover high mileage. The engine will have been up at its ideal running temperature and there will have been little braking or gear changing, with most running at a steady pace and not racing up and down the rev range.

If you take a vehicle of a similar age that has only covered a fraction of the miles, then the majority of that distance will have been quick, short journeys. These are likely to have involved many braking and accelerating manoeuvres and for much of the time, the trip would have been over before the car had gotten up to a good running temperature.

So, as long as a car has been serviced regularly and looks like it has been generally well looked after, mileage should not be a barrier to making the best used car purchase decision.

Glass's advice would be that consumers looking for a good used car that is 2-3 years old should consider taking a look at some of the higher mileage examples that are available in the used car market, particularly if being bought by low mileage drivers. These vehicles could save a fair bit of money on the initial purchase price and may well have covered the mileage in a better way than cars with very low mileage.

Andy Cutler, Forecast Values Editor, Glass's Guide