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Cheaper superminis.

Byline: By Steve Hughes

The average cost of the UK's favourite superminis is continuing to fall and even some family models are down by more than pounds 1,000.

Latest figures from Glass's New Car Market Trends report show that last month the average list price of superminis such as the Ford Fiesta, Volkswagen Polo and Vauxhall Corsa went down by a further 0.3%.

This represents a further saving of pounds 27 year-on-year and follows similar reductions throughout the year.

The greatest list price fall of all was on the Seat Toledo 1.9 TDI PD Stylance, which had a cut of pounds 1,055 to pounds 14,342.

However, in other sectors prices of new models rose whilst their second-hand values fell, making nearly-new models the greatest bargains of all.

List prices of compact MPVs rose at a faster rate than those of any other new car sector during July, up by 3.1% year-on-year compared to a market average rise of 1.7%.

A number of the compact MPV sector's best-selling vehicles have had list price increases in recent months.

Models in the Ford Focus C-MAX and Renault Scenic ranges increased by pounds 200 and in the Vauxhall Zafira range some prices were up by pounds 400.

The list price of the average compact MPV will also have been affected by the arrival of the new Mazda5, which has a higher starting price than the outgoing Premacy.

While prices of new compact MPVs are climbing, their residual values appear to be heading in the opposite direction, albeit slowly.

EurotaxGlass's reports that during the second quarter of the year the residual values of the average three-year-old compact MPV fell 4.8% or pounds 275 compared to 4.1% for the used car market as a whole.

The higher rate of depreciation largely reflects the greater numbers of compact MPVs now available in the UK's used car market.

List price inflation was again above average in the compact family car sector ( Vauxhall Astra, Toyota Corolla, etc ( up 2.9%, year-on-year or equivalent to an additional pounds 361.

In the large family car sector ( covering cars like the Mazda6 and Ford Mondeo ( prices rose by 2.9%, year-on-year, representing an extra pounds 468 on the average car.

The single biggest list price increase was for the Honda Civic Type R, which had a pounds 570 rise to pounds 17,147.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Aug 6, 2005
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