Used car prices are rocketing: now could be the perfect time to sell your old motor

Used cars of all ages have rocketed in price over the last year, making it a great time to offload a car you no longer want or need.

Used car prices just keep soaring as a result of record demand from buyers combined with the ongoing parts shortage affecting the supply of new cars.

Research from Auto Trader found that motors of all ages are rocketing in value, meaning your car could be worth thousands of pounds more than you think. 

Average prices soar up to £8,700 in a year

Auto Trader analysed the prices of more than 900,000 cars to get an idea of how much cars are selling for in the current market.

It found that five-to-10-year-old motors have risen 32% in the last year alone and are now typically worth around £3,200 more than they were last March.   

Cars that were made between three and five years ago have jumped by an even bigger 35%, or £5,000, since last Spring.

Perhaps the most remarkable story is that of nearly new cars: if you own a motor that's less than one year old, your price will have rocketed a staggering £8,700 on average, with one in five nearly-new cars now actually costing more than their brand-new equivalents.

That's right, such is the madness of the current market that some used cars now cost more than new ones!

If you are thinking about selling your motor, the box below will help you get a valuation from Motorway in minutes (we may receive a small fee if you do decide to sell to them but this won't affect the price you're offered).

You can read our dedicated Motorway review here to see why we think it's a good company to sell through, but the bottom line is it promises to pay you up to £1,000 more than its rivals.

Of course, there are plenty of other places you can sell as well: head this way to read our in-depth reviews of Webuyanycar, Arnold Clark, Evans Halshaw and Wewantanycar to see if one of those car-buying sites is more your speed.  

Why used car prices are rocketing

There are a few factors driving up used car prices.

The first is the microchip shortage which has dented the production of all sorts of technology, not least fancy new motors.

Because the new cars aren’t being produced, it means that car buyers who were intending to purchase one are instead opting to look at their used car options.

That isn’t the only issue boosting demand either.

The pandemic has inevitably meant far fewer people are using public transport for commuting, but as things have started to open up again some workers have decided they would rather drive to work than commute to work so physically close to other people on buses and trains.

An increase in demand alone would push prices up, but this has been accompanied by a reduction in the supply of used cars too. 

Again, that microchip shortage is at the heart of things.

In normal times, the people buying a new car would be selling on their old motors, whether by flogging it themselves or by handing it to the dealership in part exchange.

But as they aren’t buying the new motors, they aren’t selling their existing models either.

So not only has demand jumped massively, but it’s been accompanied by the supply of certain used cars near enough drying up.

Fancy selling your car now? Enter your reg below and see how much you could get from Motorway (note we may get a small commission if you do so, but this won't affect the price you're offered).

What it means for you

Clearly, if you’re in the market for a car ‒ whether new or used ‒ the bizarre state of the market is going to have a big impact on what you can get for your existing motor, as well as what you’ll have to pay for the set of wheels that catches your eye (read our guide to getting a great price on your new car here).

It’s massively important to do your research on current prices, not just what models have fetched historically.

That will put you in a more informed position to get the best price for your old motor, as well as help you spot a potential bargain on the car you’re hoping to buy.

Selling is getting easier

There was a time when selling a car could be quite an involved process. You may have to take out a listing in a local newspaper or attempt to negotiate a good selling price with a dealership.

Having to find a buyer and then get into a position where you received a fair price was not always easy.

But times have changed, and sellers now have an incredible range of options open to them.

Sure, you can still go the old fashioned route by listing your car and hoping a buyer sees it, but there’s now a huge number of car buying websites that you can take advantage of which not only make the entire process more straightforward but also reduce the need for you to be a master negotiator.

We’ve written comprehensive breakdowns on some of the best sites worth a look, to give you an idea of what to expect and how to get the maximum payout for your old motor.

·  Webuyanycar
·  Auto Trader
·  Carwow
·  Gumtree

The reality is that if you’re selling a car right now, not only do you have plenty of prospective buyers to tap into, you may also benefit from rising prices and a more straightforward sales process than was previously the case.


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