‘Never been a better time to sell’: Used car prices to stay at record highs until 2023

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Record prices for used cars around the world has been a knock-on effect of Covid and a shortage of semiconductor chips for new car manufacturers. They’ve been unable to make and deliver new models, which has led to buyers turning to used cars instead.

Car prices have risen 30 percent in the last 12 months, and leading the price increases have been hot hatches (where prices have increased on average 35.8 percent year-on-year) and the estate market (where prices are up 32.8 percent on average) according to car selling site Motorway.

An average Mini Cooper would have fetched £5,056 in February 2021 whereas prices have reached £9,627 in 2022.

Meanwhile, a Volkswagen Polo Match 60 that would have netted a sale price of £3,508 a year ago will generate £6,229 on average today.

Alex Buttle, co-founder at Motorway, said: “With wait times of up to 12 months for a new car due to supply problems, motorists have turned to the used car market to get their next car, which means that many dealers are on the hunt for new stock.”

He added: “There’s never been a better time to sell.

“From hot hatches to family saloons, SUVs to sports cars, we’ve got dealers searching for used cars and willing to pay for a wide range of quality stock.”

New car deliveries continue to be affected by manufacturers having to close down plants due to part shortages.

The situation in Ukraine also contributed as the likes of BMW and VW have parts made in the region.

While sales of EVs are still hugely increased on last year, partly due to availability and the record cost of petrol, there are fears batteries can’t be made fast enough to meet demand.

Teslas are sold out in many places for as long as five months.

Nickel, cobalt and lithium prices are rocketing as they are needed to produce lithium batteries.

Those metals are now facing a global shortage which will delay the prices of EVs coming down to those of standard cars.

Still, according to Auto Express’ Editor in Chief Steve Fowler, used prices are likely to stay at their inflated levels through until 2023.

Writing in response to the launching of Spoticar – the auto giant Stellantis’ latest venture which groups together used models of its brands including Vauxhall, Fiat and Citroen – Fowler points out how tough it is to launch a car selling business “in the middle of a global pandemic and the biggest supply shortage the car industry has ever seen”.

But he adds: “It makes complete sense to group all these firms’ used-car stock under one roof, especially since we’re more likely to shop across brands and categories these days.”

Fowler explained that, “According to Spoticar boss Nick Richards, the used-car market will settle down this year, although there’ll be no huge correction in prices.

“We will see price stability… but supply will still be constrained.”

Fowler urged caution and added: “Is it a great time to buy? For some (like me), needs must.

“But the usual rule applies – do plenty of research before you buy anything.”

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