Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Size Buys Wise

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Size Buys Wise

Article excerpt

Byline: By The Evening Gazette By Evening Gazette

Superminis are being tipped as the best new or used buy at the moment.

New and used car buyers have developed an incredibly large appetite for superminis over the last five years according to experts at Parker's Car Price Guide.

The reasons are obvious: low running costs, improved specification levels, more sophisticated designs and competitive pricing.

They hold their value better than most sectors, and easily find buyers when disposal time comes.

This sector, more than any other, is fuelling the current new car sales boom.

According to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), supermini sales are up 5.4 per cent on 2002, and sales have increased by almost 50 per cent since 1999.

Editor of Parker's Car Price Guide Steve Rose said: "All good things eventually come to an end, and there is some evidence that previously strong performers are taking a drop in price.

"It all comes down to supply and demand, and Ford Ka is a key example. Bodyshop and repair-centres have recently disposed of fleets of courtesy cars, mainly on 01/Y and 01/51 plates.

"They're usually base models in flat colours - an undesirable specification to most buyers, and harder for dealers to sell - so values are likely to ease over the next couple of months.

"Better-equipped Colour Collection and Style Ka models are a popular used choice, and as a result, have stronger residuals."

He added: "The old shape Nissan Micra is also suffering, because it's been a sales success and has recently been replaced by a new model.

"There are too many 01 Y-plate 1.0 S three-door models just released from Motability and ex-courtesy cars. Range-topping SE and Sport models are less affected."

Vauxhall Corsas are in plentiful supply at the moment, especially on 01/Y and 01/51 plates, as are 1.2 GLS and Comfort five-door models from the same sources as the Micra.

Values are sliding, although this range has a reputation for being volatile due to its popularity with fleet buyers.

The Corsa is considered to be a prettier car in five-door form than the previous generation, which was unloved by the used buyer. …

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