TRADERS FEAR CLAS­SIC SALES ARE COOL­ING

Auc­tion­eers and deal­ers re­port a re­duced ap­petite for older cars – and they’re blam­ing it on Bri­tain’s un­cer­tain econ­omy

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Front Page - ALEX BUTTLE, MO­TOR­WAY.CO.UK Mur­ray Scul­lion

Clas­sic car mar­ket ex­perts are re­port­ing more hes­i­tant trad­ing con­di­tions due to un­cer­tain prospects for the econ­omy. Auc­tion an­a­lyst, Richard Hud­son-Evans, says: ‘Nearly ev­ery­thing is down at the mo­ment. Re­tail is down, shares, sav­ings, and new car sales. Bad news and po­lit­i­cal in­sta­bil­ity leads to peo­ple want­ing to spend less money.’

Clas­sic auc­tion­eer Char­ter­house says that while the con­ti­nen­tal mar­ket re­mains strong, buy­ers in the UK are paus­ing due to mar­ket un­cer­tainty. Matthew Whit­ney, as­so­ciate di­rec­tor, says: ‘ We reckon the mar­ket has cooled 15 per cent year on year at the mo­ment. But it’s cer­tainly not fallen off the edge of a cliff.’

‘ We could well see a spike in peo­ple de­fault­ing on their car loans’

Auc­tion houses, deal­ers, and even pri­vate sell­ers are re­port­ing that buy­ers are less will­ing to part with their cash – and they’re putting it all down to po­lit­i­cal in­sta­bil­ity.

Elec­tions, bad news, and the Bank of Eng­land or­der­ing banks to set aside £11.4bn over fears of ris­ing con­sumer credit are all ma­jor fac­tors in the clas­sic mar­ket’s cur­rent in­sta­bil­ity

Auc­tion an­a­lyst, Richard Hud­son-Evans, says: ‘Nearly ev­ery­thing is down at the mo­ment – re­tail, shares, sav­ings and even new car sales. Bad news and po­lit­i­cal in­sta­bil­ity lead to peo­ple want­ing to spend less money.’

Clas­sic auc­tion­eer Char­ter­house says that while the con­ti­nen­tal mar­ket re­mains strong, buy­ers in the UK are paus­ing due to mar­ket un­cer­tainty.

As­so­ciate di­rec­tor, Matthew Whit­ney, says: ‘ We reckon the mar­ket has cooled 15 per cent year on year at the mo­ment. But it’s cer­tainly not fallen off the edge of a cliff.’

Richard Hick­in­botham re­cently strug­gled to sell his Tri­umph Road­ster. He says: ‘I be­lieve the mar­ket is al­ready on the slide. I think con­sumers are wor­ried and more care­ful with their money as we are in un­cer­tain times. Due to health is­sues, I ad­ver­tised my very nicely re­stored Tri­umph Road­ster for some time, at a price around £5000 lower than com­pa­ra­ble ex­am­ples. Not one per­son came to view the car. ‘I can only think this is hap­pen­ing due to ris­ing prices else­where. In des­per­a­tion, I ad­ver­tised my car on a well-known auc­tion site, but still had no view­ers. In the end, I had to sell it at a big loss.’ As re­ported in CCW on 17 May, a grow­ing num­ber of en­thu­si­asts are look­ing to loans in or­der to buy clas­sics. Since then, the Bank of Eng­land has or­dered banks to set aside £11.4bn over fears of ris­ing con­sumer credit. This in­cludes fi­nance used for clas­sic pur­chases.

Alex Buttle, di­rec­tor of car buy­ing web­site mo­tor­way.co.uk, says: ‘The growth of car fi­nance over the past few years has been as­tro­nom­i­cal, and the level of con­sumer debt this is caus­ing is get­ting out of hand.

‘De­spite the many hid­den costs, it’s hard to re­sist the temp­ta­tion of own­ing a car with­out hav­ing to find tens of thou­sands of pounds up­front to pay for it.

‘If peo­ple re­ally do start to strug­gle fi­nan­cially, then the pri­or­ity will be keep­ing a roof over their heads, and they are far more likely to de­fault on a car loan than a mort­gage.

‘ We could well see a spike in peo­ple de­fault­ing on their car loans in favour of los­ing their home if the eco­nomic cli­mate takes a turn for the worst.’

But York­shire dealer Clas­sic and Sportscar Cen­tre says that while it ex­pe­ri­enced a brief down­turn in trade dur­ing the elec­tion, trade is now par­tic­u­larly buoy­ant.

Man­ager James Szk­iler says:‘In June we sold 32 clas­sics, whereas nor­mally we’d be sell­ing be­tween 15 and 20 at this time of year. For us it’s been par­tic­u­larly busy.’

Older clas­sics like the Tri­umph Road­ster are prov­ing hard to sell at the mo­ment.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.