DOES THE WEATHER affect the value of your car? According to Chris Crow, Chief Editor at car pricing experts CAP, the answer may be ‘yes’.
Crow’s analysis of used car values suggests that the better the weather, the higher prices are in the used car trade market.
Writing in leading trade journal AM magazine, Crow reports that it is not only convertibles that shine when the sun is out – the rest of the market does too.
Crow analysed used car values for two years in which the economic circumstances were similar but which saw very different total hours of sunshine.
He said: “I picked 2002 and 2006 because of the similarities in the economic climate, with GDP growth running strongly for the UK at 2.6%, inflation below 3% and new car registrations north of 2.3 million units.
“But the used car market was stronger in one of those years – and CAP’s analysis suggests that this was down to the weather.
“Both 2002 and 2006 began with similar hours of sunshine all the way through to the month of May. However, in June 2006 there were an additional 60 hours of sunshine and it proved to be the warmest July since 1976 – enjoying a staggering 115 additional hours of sunshine over the same period in 2002. By September the sunshine hours fell into line with 2002 but it was nonetheless the warmest September on record. So by all accounts 2006 was a cracking year for British weather.
“And it was also a cracking year for strong used car values, which supports what dealers often tell us – that the better the weather, the stronger the demand for used cars.”
The chart below tracks CAP’s Used Car index based on all cars at 36 months and 60,000 miles over a twelve month period and compares 2002 with 2006. Both years see a similar quarter 1 but by April 2002 the used car market dropped off and by September the gap widened further still.
Crow then focused on convertibles (above) as the most ‘weather-sensitive’ sector of the market. He said: “When we compared prices reported in CAP Black Book for convertibles, compared with the rest of the market, it revealed just what a difference all that extra sunshine made to the prices commanded in the used marketplace.”
“Of course, all of this is interesting but it has more than just curiosity value . For motorists it means there are undoubtedly more bargains to be had when the weather is poor. And although no one in the trade will be surprised that convertibles are more desirable when the sun shines – just as snowfall stimulates demand for 4x4s – these figures show that there is an overall correlation between the prices people will pay for all types of used car and the general weather conditions.”