Auction prices are now very definitely dropping to the usual seasonal low, particularly for finance end of-contract-cars and snatchbacks. Instead of running them through the halls relentlessly in an attempt to improve on low bids, finance companies are now taking the money.
Lowlights of today included a spotless silver 14,000 mile 2001Y Vectra 2.2iLS, freshly serviced at 13,000 miles, sold for just £6,150. Let me repeat that: £6,150 for an 18 month old Vectra in the best colour with the best (chain cam) engine.
Fancy a soft-top sports car? It’s a good time to get one. They don’t come much sportier than a 60,000 mile 98S Mazda MX5 1.8 in a nice metallic blue with alloys. It sold for £7,250. Or what about a 97R BMW Z3 1.9 with an extremely doubtful 1 mile on the odo? £9,900, and the first time I’ve seen one under ten grand.
Need an MPV? A smart, but 102,000 mile 2000W Picasso HDI Exclusive with a full length sunroof went for £5,100.
Wondering what winter’s going to be like? How about a 69,000 mile 98R Subaru Legacy 2.5 Outback automatic for £5,750.
Against these lows, ex-fleet Golfs were holding their own. A 44k mile unwarranted 88V 2.0GTi 5-door in silver sold for £8,250 and a 47k mile warranted met red 2000W GTi 1.8T 5-door sold for £9,700. So no cheapies there.
Six cylinder Jag XJs continue to storm ahead of expectations. A 61k mile 94M 3.2 with alloys and leather sold for £4,750 and 72k mile 97P XJ3.2 Sport with a really nice interior made £7,150.
Desirable diesels were also hot . A 17k mile 2000V BMW 320D SE sold for £13,300. In comparison a 62k mile 99V Rover 75 CDT Connoisseur with pretty much the same engine, made £8,150.
But bargain of the day for my money (because it got my money) was a 29,000 mile metallic red 2000X SEAT Leon 20VT Sport, one of me and my readers favourite cars. This had what looked like a fresh set of P6000s and new alloy wheels. I hadn’t thought I’d get near, until the bidding started at just £7,000. So I jumped in, had it down to me for £7,700 provisional, never thinking they’d dream of taking it against Glass’s Guide trade book of £9,600. But they did, so it’s mine. Minor bullethole out of the sight line on the screen, no CD player and needs a service, but everything works and I’m nicely placed to either trade it out or keep it.
That’s the whole point of going to auctions, even those where there’s lots of competition and cars are usually quite dear. Keep your eyes open and if something you wouldn’t mind owning is getting low bids, then stick your hand in the air. You never know how lucky you might be.
For information of upcoming BCA auctions, visit www.bca-auctions.co.uk Full list of auction centres throughout the country at www.honestjohn.co.uk (go back to the home-page and click on auction directory).