Used car sales soar, prices rise

* Dealers buying up bargain stock * Values recover as a result * Prices won't return to early 2008 levels, though...

Used car sales soar, prices rise

Used car sales are soaring, according to initial reports for 2009.

The publisher of Glasss Guide says that there has been an upturn in sales since Christmas, which has been led by dealers buying dramatically more cars in recent weeks to replenish stocks.

Experts have suggested that dealers are picking up bargain used cars in the current depressed market, in the expectation that sales will rise during the current financial crisis.

'There has been lots of competition for the best cars, and the auctions have found their inventories dwindling' said Glass's Adrian Rushmore.

'Even 'problem' cars, such as executive models and large 4x4s that struggled to find buyers in December, have been attracting bids.'

As a result of the surge in demand, prices for used cars are reported to be remaining steady or rising slightly, depending on the car.

That's in contrast to the slide in values throughout the second half of 2008. The average used car price is currently 20% down year-on-year.

However, Rushmore has cautioned that the surge in sales is unlikely to represent a major recovery in used car values.

'We believe values are finding a level,' he said.