Rise in second-hand car prices

Rise in second-hand car prices

AA Cars has revealed the second-hand prices of Britain’s most popular cars have risen by up to 57% in two years.

Demand for some models is so strong that they are even said to be appreciating with age. For example, a three year-old Mini Hatch now costs 57% more than a model of the same age cost in 2019. But a five year-old model currently costs 15% more than a three year-old car did in 2019, meaning it has gained in value despite getting two years older.

The analysis, of the 30 most searched for cars on the AA Cars platform, compared prices of three, four and five year-old models in August 2019 and August 2021.

The most popular car of all, the Ford Fiesta, saw the average of three to five year old models jump by nearly a third (31%) to £9,770 between 2019 and 2021.

Average price increases for the 10 most popular cars listed on AA Cars (aged three to five)

Popularity ranking Car Price rise 2019-2021 Average 2019 price Average 2021 price
1 Ford Fiesta 31.18% £7,448 £9,770
2 Ford Focus 43.11% £8,919 £12,764
3 Volkswagen Polo 34.47% £8,208 £11,037
4 Nissan Qashqai 33.10% £10,935 £14,554
5 Volkswagen Golf 31.82% £13,074 £17,234
6 Audi A1 29.17% £10,396 £13,429
7 Audi A3 46.09% £12,451 £18,190
8 Fiat 500 27.79% £6,444 £8,235
9 Mercedes A Class 27.71% £13,566 £17,325
10 Ford Kuga 37.85% £11,544 £15,913

While the Mini Hatch claimed the crown for the fastest rise in prices, other models have also appreciated even as they got older. For example, Toyota Aygo owners who bought a three-year-old model in 2019 could find their car is now worth 11% more, while Volkswagen Golf owners have made a similar profit of 9.5%.

Surging demand and finite supply have reportedly combined to push up used car values sharply over the past two years. The first easing of lockdown restrictions in summer 2020 unleashed demand that had been pent up during the early stages of the pandemic. Demand accelerated again in 2021 as the economy improved and many people opted to drive rather than take public transport.

Meanwhile, a shortage of new cars for sale has led many drivers to buy used rather than new, with demand pressures pushing up second-hand prices at unprecedented rates.

Highest average price rises between 2019 and 2021 (for a three-year-old car)

Car Price rise
Mini Hatch 56.63%
Ford Transit 55.71%
Citroen C3 54.00%
Mercedes E Class 48.53%
Audi A3 47.15%

James Fairclough, CEO of AA Cars, commented: “With the exception of houses and some classic cars, things rarely go up in value as they age.

“Yet price growth in the used car market is so strong that some in-demand models are appreciating even as they sit on the driveway. But even though average prices have risen sharply over the past two years, it is still possible to get a good deal on the second-hand market.

“We advise anyone who is in the market for a used car to shop around widely and, when they have narrowed their search, to ask the dealer questions about the specific vehicle they are interested in.

“If they find out it has been sitting around on a forecourt for a while, the dealer may be more inclined to offer a price reduction.

“We always recommend that an independent pre-sale vehicle inspection takes place on any second-hand car before any money changes hands, to ensure drivers can have peace of mind that there are no hidden faults which will cost them money down the line.”

For more information, visit www.theaa.com/cars/.

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