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UK used car prices 'lowest in 15 months'

Used car prices in the UK are now at their lowest for 15 months but some regions are missing out on the good deals.

Prices of second-hand vehicles dipped by an average of 1.71% between November and December, according to advice site UsedCarExpert.co.uk.

The average price for a used car is now £8,540 - the lowest figure since September 2011.

But while buyers in south west England are now paying an average of only £6,951 for a second-hand car, those in north east England are having to fork out as much as £10,805 on average.

The South West prices last month reflected a fall of 6.31% since November. Prices also fell sharply in Scotland (down 6.2%) and in East Anglia (down 5.31%).

In contrast, prices rose 6.45%, to £8,087, in the West Midlands. There were also increases in north east England (up 2.59%) and in the East Midlands (up 1.59%).

UsedCarExpert.co.uk editor Matthew Tumbridge said: "Prices have not been this low for over 12 months and in many regions, used car prices have fallen as the economy remains weak and unstable and motorists hold on to their vehicles.

"As motorists face rising prices in insurance and fuel in 2013, it certainly pays motorists to shop around to get the best used-car deal, as they can save over £3,500 if they are prepared to travel."

He went on: "These regional price fluctuations are due to local economic conditions impacting on pricing.

"The relative prosperity and wealth in the North East is keeping prices inflated while in the South West, the struggling economy has the lowest used car prices that we have ever seen. There has never been a better time to buy a used car."

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