To tackle an anticipated drop in used-car supply over the next 12 months, Glass's has urged franchised car dealers to start selling vehicles that have higher mileages and are more than three years old.
The used-car valuation company said if the current trend continues, by 2011 there will be around two million fewer used cars aged between one and five years in general use compared with 2008.
Long-standing procurement policies dictate that cars older than three years and higher-mileage motors are usually not considered by dealers.
However, Glass's said with the expected shortage in stock, franchised dealers cannot afford to be picky any longer.
Adrian Rushmore, managing editor at Glass's, said: "In 2008, over 60%t of franchised dealer stock consisted of cars less than two years old, and yet this year alone there could be as many as 600,000 fewer one and two-year-old cars available for dealers to retail."
Mr Rushmore said the fall in used-car supply is the product of two trends - each month of low registrations has produced a proportionally lower number of part exchanges, and the prolonged period of low registrations has meant the stock of younger used cars has also steadily diminished.
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