Unless you’re bidding for a vintage collector’s item like the Batmobile, you really shouldn’t expect to pay more for a second-hand car than you normally would for a brand-new model. However, the increasing trend of second-hand car exports is driving up their asking price, much to the consternation of market analysts.
Researchers for the CAP Black Book Live – a web tool which attempts to track the fluctuating value of used cars to assist buyers in getting the right deal – have reported on a surge in price of certain models sold to drivers in other countries, such as the six-year-old Citroen C8 that recently sold for £3,000 above its current value in the UK. Another recent example they gave was of a used Audi A4 which went for “more than double” what CAP reckons is its true value of £7,175. Even stranger is the sale of a four-year-old Honda Civic which was sold away overseas for over £20,000; that’s more than £12,000 over its current asking price in the UK!
These “crazy prices” reported by Black Book boffins don’t just affect cars either – with motorcycles and vans also getting the overpriced treatment; what exactly has given these buyers – in Eastern Europe and the middle East in particular – a severe case of export fever?
CAP reps say that it’s related to the cost of fuel in the countries which are overspending for their cars. The vehicles which are doing particularly well are known for their above-average size fuel tanks, which will fill up for less money in countries where petrol remains cheap. Therefore, it’s worth the larger price tag up front to justify the savings on running the cars which can be made by their new owners.
Another reason for the export boom in Japan for example is to replenish their numbers; the tsunami of 2011 severely affected the country’s production. As things stand it could be a future cause for concern in the UK, but as long as unwanted models are being cleared from the forecourts – no matter how unusual the reason why – it keeps our own manufacturing levels up.