Top Three Motor Trade Stories from March
Three of the most important news stories for motor traders in March.
While the month of March marked one year until Brexit, the top news in March for motor traders lay elsewhere.
Used Car Market at Six Year High
Average used car values have increased by 1.2% since the start of the year, a significant improvement on 2017’s decrease of 0.7%. The figures from Black Book Live reveal 2018 to be the best start to a year since 2014, when values increased by 0.8%.
Head of Current Valuations at cap hpi, Derren Martin, said: “An increase in average values in March moving into April is not unprecedented. However, it is the cumulative increase since the turn of the year that is the main eye-opener.
“The sectors showing the main areas of pricing strength continued to be city cars, superminis and lower medium-sized cars, while convertibles are behaving as they normally do at this time of year, leading up to the spring and summer. The increase in demand for smaller vehicles is partly as a result of consumers downsizing but also a desire for petrol vehicles.
“While smaller diesel cars are generally not as popular as their petrol counterparts, demand for larger models remains healthy. Examples of some diesel models that have increased in value over the last few weeks include the BMW 3-Series, Volkswagen Passat and certain Hyundai i40s.
“There has been a noticeable increase in used car retail activity. While there is still a variety of new car finance offers available, they are not quite as attractive as they once were. The discerning buyer can get a used car deal, either PCP or outright purchase, that more than satisfies their requirements.”
Research into Safety of Aging Tyres Commissioned by UK Government
The Department for Transport has commissioned independent scientific research into ageing tyres following a fatal crash in 2012 which killed three people, when a 19-year-old tyre fitted to a coach failed.
The Transport Research Laboratory will now begin a 12-month study investigating tyre ageing and whether over time the integrity of tyres degrade to such an extent they become unsafe. Announcing the commission, Roads Minister Jesse Norman, said: “Existing guidance in this area has proven to be highly effective since 2012. But we want to go further, to examine the issue of tyre ageing in detail.
“I am delighted to announce today that we have asked the experts to collect robust evidence on this issue. We have some of the safest roads in the world, but we are always looking to make them safer still.”
IMI Survey Reveals EV Ignorance in Wake of East London Petrol & Diesel Ban
Staggering results show UK motorists’ lack of knowledge of electric vehicles, as 82% of respondents said they didn’t know enough about EV vehicles to switch from petrol/diesel. In addition, almost a third of UK motorists surveyed said they would never consider buying an electric vehicle, and nine out of 10 drivers surveyed didn’t know mechanics/technicians needed specialist training to work on electric vehicles.
Commenting on the survey results, Chief Executive at the IMI, Steve Nash, said: “The fact that over half of motorists thought they could do basic maintenance on an electric vehicle is also a huge concern. With technology in vehicles moving at a record pace it’s more important than ever that those undertaking service, maintenance and repair [work] are regularly trained and properly qualified to a recognized standard. This guarantees their safety in working on and around high-voltage systems and ensures that the owners of electrified vehicles can have confidence that their vehicles are in competent hands.”
The public’s ignorance of electric vehicles is a worrying sign ahead of East London’s petrol & diesel ban, which comes into effect later this year and will be in place during peak hours.
Cabinet member for Neighbourhoods, Transport and Parks, Cllr Feryal Demirci said: “The streets around Shoreditch suffer from some of the worst air quality in London, ultra-low emission streets will have reduced levels of air and noise pollution, make it easier and safer to walk and cycle and improve the character of the area for all residents and businesses.
“To start with we’re banning petrol and diesel vehicles in the morning and evening rush hours to reduce people’s exposure to dangerous fumes and make the streets safer when people are walking and cycling to and from work and school.”
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