Maybe January is not so much a slow month now as there are always plenty of good deals on motors! In other words the trade had to make the deals more attractive to encourage people to part with their cash in January - Hence the reason we say it is a good time to buy.
If the bargain deals were not there it would return to a slow month!
As is the case in some of the other threads i partly agree with what you say.
But as most people are aware in most industries the word sale appears nearly every week post Christmas period IMO has always been a busy time for used cars for as long as i can remeber,and usually results in the highest sales of the year,which does not go hand in hand with low prices as stock runs scarce and it drives the trade price and therefore ups retail.
However as you rightly said in past years the new year sales were stronger and this has put many potential buyers into January as it matches their natural change cycle whether that be 2,3,4,or 5 years .
With most ncs campaigns and targets finishing at the end of the quarter and the usual manufacturers annual price increase at the beginning of the quarter the pressure on used car margin is also ease's the deferential between new and nearly used prices increase
(easier to retain more gp).
IMO and that's all it is ,whilst i agree certain times of the year potential buyers may have an advantage I think this is more down to what is happening in the new car market (who is doing what and who is following it)which dictates the amount of part exchanges and the value of nearly new vehicles on the market at any given time,which in turn drives used prices down or up as they case maybe.
Dealers will be stocked to the hilt for january (many not all) will be abiding to a used policy (60-90days) that with the anticipated part x for the 08 plate in march is more likley but not a certainty to reduce used prices late feb/early march rather than january which i have said IMO is a busy month.
good news is somewhere there is always the right car at the right price whatever time of year and IMO by doing your research/legwork
thats the one to buy rather than predict market trends,because thats all they are opnions the above just happens to be mine.