CAP, the car pricing experts based in the northern UK city of Leeds have bored deep into their amazing stash of car-related data and statistics and have uncovered an interesting correlation between used car values and one of the most commonly talked about subjects in the UK – the weather!
Yes, us Brits are renowned for talking about the ‘Great British Weather’, and who can blame us, as it can be so random at the best of times! It wouldn’t be fair for CAP to look at used car market data from years in which things were rather different economically, as this would skew the results and make the survey pointless. So their Chief Editor, Chris Crow, pinpointed 2002 and 2006 as years which were fairly similar in economic terms. Inflation, GDP growth and the number of new car registrations were all about the same in 2002 and 2006.
So what was the reason behind many more used cars being sold in 2006 than in 2002, if things were financially similar? CAP reckon it’s down to our old friend, the weather! Used car dealers across the UK were all saying the same thing in 2006 – sales were strong. And as it happens, so was the weather, for once. July 2006 was the warmest July since 1976, whilst the preceding month, June, saw 60 more hours of sunshine than June 2002. Data from the CAP Black Book shows that all the way from March 2006, used car sales figures were significantly higher right the way to December, compared to the same period in 2002.
All types of cars sold better during the hot, sunny weather of 2006 – not just convertibles. But if we do take a specific look at cabriolets, like CAP did, September 2006 (which was the hottest on record) saw a massive peak in convertible car sales. This surge in convertible sales started in April 2006 and settled back down again in December, showing that the decent weather in the autumn also helped, along with UK car buyers no doubt hoping 2007 would be a good year for weather too, hence buying a convertible in the autumn/winter in readiness.
What can be learnt from this pattern, then? Well for car dealers, the strong message is to increase their efforts when the weather is good, as sales definitely tend to rise then. So why not hold some afternoon drinks receptions or other events during the spring and summer months at your dealership? For consumers, the tip is to look at used cars when the weather isn’t so good, as prices may well dip a bit, as this tends to be when demand becomes more subdued. On the flip side, if you’re wanting to sell your car, wait until the weather is nice so you can take some great photos of it. Chances are that you’ll achieve a higher price if you market and sell your car when the sun is out. Thanks to CAP for unearthing the knowledge that it’s not just humans who suffer from SAD!
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