Used car prices reached a record high last year. Credit: Vospers

Peter Vosper: Is this the right time to buy a car?

Torbay Weekly

With constant reminders we are having to accept higher prices and, with wage increases struggling to keep pace, should we forget about replacing the car in the short term? (Writes Peter Vosper).

The problem is there are too many ‘don’t knows’ at the moment which makes many decisions more difficult.

The war in Ukraine is being blamed for many things but there can be no doubt there is a shortage of wheat on world markets and several motor manufacturers are losing parts supply from the Ukraine as well as factories which have been closed which may not reopen for some time to come.

The chip shortage continues and new vehicles ordered today are unlikely to be delivered this year.

As a result, many manufacturers are increasing their prices to cover their shortage of volume and cover their increased costs, with little help by way of deposit allowances or subsided finance costs.

Their order banks are full for the present and people who ordered cars, in some cases up to a year ago, will take delivery during the rest of 2022. Some models will run into 2023.

Of course, customers will also change their minds and some will find an alternative, be it new or used, or decide to remain with their current car.

This gives new buyers the opportunity to take up these cancelled orders and many have made it clear they would be interested if this arises.

If you are urgently wanting a new car, keep talking to your local dealer and he will let you know the position and how they can help.

Used cars have also been affected by the situation and last year’s prices reached a record high as demand for used vehicles rose because of the shortage of new cars and the resulting lack of part-exchanges coming back to the market.

This market is now showing the expected correction with more used stock arriving and prices falling for the last couple of months.

However, finance rates, which have been only marginally increased, are likely to go up as the year progresses.

The market is unpredictable at the moment but market communications are confirming the thoughts of many, that a positive, flexible, and user-friendly experience enabling the buyer to control their journey, which is supported by a physical structure, is the most positive way forward.

Other reports support this by showing most customers want the opportunity to meet with an advisor onsite and test-drive the car before purchase.

Accepting the current situation, this could be a good time to find out what choices are available to upgrade your car and whether it the right time to do so.

Peter Vosper, chairman of the Vospers Group
Peter Vosper, chairman of the Vospers Group