RAC Cars News


Used 4x4 price rises under way as winter weather looms

By raccars Published

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With meteorologists anticipating a particularly poor winter, used 4x4 vehicles are already creeping up in value.

Seasonal shifts

The used car market is not constant throughout the year. In fact there are a significant number of factors which can impact sales, alter prices and change conditions for dealers and drivers alike. And this industry is so well established that analysts have even worked out at what time on which day of the week is best to buy a used car.

The weather plays a major role in all of this. As summer fades and autumn gets under way you will start to see convertibles offered with discounts and 4x4 vehicles becoming that little bit more expensive. But according to the Telegraph, the inflation of used 4x4 values is happening earlier in 2015 than in previous years. This is widely attributed to the fact that the Met Office has forecast that temperatures will fall below average levels in the coming months, leading to tricky conditions on roads across the UK.

Although weather conditions can fluctuate and fail to follow the predicted path laid out by the experts, there is a growing consensus that this winter will be the worst in over half a century, with temperatures plummeting well below freezing for protracted periods. This will lead to snow and ice affecting our roads, which is why cautious drivers are already choosing to buy used 4x4s ahead of time so that they are prepared for the worst. And it is not just the temperatures that are a problem, but the length of time for which they persist, suggesting that this winter will be long and bleak.

4x4 values increase

Figures published by Manheim show that on average the price of a used 4x4 has increased by £1200 in the past two months, while year on year the values in October of 2015 are 41.7 per cent higher. This not only means that vehicles in this category purchased today will be more expensive than they were back in August, but that they are also £2400 more valuable than they were during the same period in 2014.

Dealers are ultimately benefiting from the fact that motorists are catching on to the need to invest in an off-road vehicle earlier than ever, with many drivers hoping to get ahead of the curve and secure a good deal before prices hit their peak during the coldest periods of the year. But the increased momentum in the marketplace means that more and more buyers are looking for 4x4 bargains, resulting in inevitable price rises on the forecourt.

Used car expert Tim Naylor indicates that 4x4 values are typically at their height between October and March. He also confirms that low temperatures equate to high prices when it comes to this type of vehicle.

The cost of safety

So how much can consumers expect to have to spend if they want to secure a used 4x4 before the weather takes a turn for the worse? On average the most popular age range for vehicles of this type is a little over five years, with average mileages hovering at just under 59,000. The sale price for a typical off-road ready car hit a low of £13,925 between April and June of 2015, while earlier this year the peak was £14,671.

Drivers and used car dealers alike have been given early warning of the impending deep freeze, so do bear this in mind when you are looking for used cars. With the inherent complexity of today's 4x4s, it pays to have a professional vehicle inspection to ensure that it is as described.

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