Severe weather and cheaper fuel prices sets drivers on the hunt for used off-roaders, pushing up asking prices.

Churning through ice and snow, there’s nothing to beat the sureness of grip you get with an off-roader. And the hard winter we’re experiencing has sent buyers flocking in search of second hand ones.

Britain’s biggest car auction house, BCA, reports that dealers are snapping them up. And they’re prepared to pay far more than they did just a few months back. Then, soaring fuel prices and the threat of emissions-based increases in road tax that would penalise gas-guzzlers meant that off-roaders fell firmly out of favour.

But now they are back. BCA reported that demand – and prices – at auction picked up as fuel prices fell below £1 per litre in the closing months of last year. And now, weeks of snow and ice have pushed the trend. BCA said the average auction price for a four-year-old vehicle that’s covered 50,000 miles is £8500. That’s more than dealers would have paid in December and beats the highest prices achieved at auction last year.

That’s good news if you’ve got one you wish to sell. If you’re buying it means, of course, that you’ll pay more. But take comfort because, compared to boom prices last experienced two years back, you’ll still be getting a bargain.

Stephen Jury


February 13, 2009