1 in 4 “nearly new” cars are now worth more than new versions as used prices skyrocket
Average used car prices climbed nearly a third in December 2021 from the previous year, as consumer demand continued to drive values higher.
The end of 2021 saw the 21st consecutive month of price growth in the second-hand market, with average costs 30% higher than at the end of 2020.
The latest figures from the Auto Dealers’ Retail Price Index showed the continued strength of the used car market and revealed that a quarter of “near new” cars – those less than 12 months old – were selling for more. than the list price of a brand new equivalent model.
This is in part due to the semiconductor supply issues that have affected production worldwide and have had a significant impact on the new car market. A lack of key electronic parts has led to wait times of up to a year on some new cars, leading buyers to seek out nearly new alternatives.
Tracking prices across more than 900,000 listings, the index found that the average price for a used car in December was £ 17,816, up from £ 17,366 in November and over £ 3,750 more than the average of £ 14,085 in December 2020.
The data also showed that price increases continued to accelerate, with the price variation of some models up to 50% greater between 2020 and 2021 than from 2019-20.
The average asking price for the Seat Alhambra minivan hit £ 19,038 in December 2021, a 50% year-over-year change. Other high-performing models included family-friendly vehicles such as Renault Grand Scenic, Skoda Octavia, Ford S-Max and Skoda Yeti, all of which saw price changes of over 46%.
Richard Walker, Director of Data and Ideas for Auto Trader, said: “2021 has been a remarkable year for the auto industry. Used vehicle prices have grown by double digits and used cars have been blasting off the forecourt in record time.
“Despite ongoing restrictions, our industry has remained resilient in the face of significant challenges and is on track for continued strong price growth through the second half of the new year. The two main factors driving this growth, supply constraints and strong consumer demand, show no signs of abating anytime soon. Allegations of an impending ‘bubble burst’ ignore these key dynamics. “