4x4 buyers urged to act now before prices rise
Thinking of buying a 4x4 this winter? Well, you'd better get your skates on, because prices could be on the rise as more and more people have the same idea.
British Car Auctions says that the recent stormy conditions across the UK already seem to have driven higher demand for off-roaders.
"The onset of bad weather usually marks an increase in demand for four wheel drive vehicles and that generally pushes up average prices", says Tim Naylor, editor of the auction house's Used Car Market Report.
"And, despite the fact that temperatures were unseasonably warm in October we've already seen prices creeping up as demand increases."
Average used values of 4x4s peaked last year in December at £14,816, up from £13,023 in October 2012.
By contrast, the value of the average 4x4 in October this year was £13,864.
What's more, BCA suggests that values are likely to rise more as the temperature drops and freezing conditions set in.
"The correlation between falling temperatures and rising prices for 4x4 vehicles is well charted", says Naylor.
"For many motorists, particularly those living in rural areas, a 4x4 is becoming a necessity in winter. Buying now, before the arrival of snow and harsh winter conditions, could be a prudent move."
Many buyers consider a four-wheel-drive to be the vehicle of choice for the cold winter months thanks to their higher levels of traction.
However, some experts suggest that outfitting a standard passenger car with winter tyres is a more advisable solution, as doing so also increases the amount of grip when braking in cold conditions.
How do you plan to stay mobile in the winter months? Will you be looking to buy a 4x4, or fit your car with winter tyres? Or are you planning simply to carry on as normal, and hope for the best?