Used car prices have seen five years’ worth of growth in six months

The average used car price has gone up £3,400 since May.

Used car dealer photo
Used car dealer photo

Recent months have seen the used car market boom with little sign of any slowdown coming soon.

New figures released today (December 3) give shocking context to just how much used car prices have been going up.

Online car marketplace Auto Trader has shared data that shows the average price of a used car has seen five year’s worth of growth in just six months.

According to the site’s data, the average sticker price is now £17,366, about £3,400 up on May 2021. Looking at the used car price trajectory between 2017 and May 2021, the market should not have hit that figure until around 2026.

Used car price data November
(Auto Trader)

Incredibly, about a quarter of all used cars that are less than one year old are now worth more than a brand new equivalent.

These price increases have been driven by increased demand for used vehicles, which has come from decreased new stock availability. Manufacturers have been struggling to keep up with demand because of a global semiconductor chip shortage, which is limiting the number of vehicles they can make.

Richard Walker, Auto Trader’s director of data and insights, said: “There’s been some suggestion that the period of huge price growth is coming to an end, or we’re finally about to see the ‘bubble burst’.

“Beyond what we’d expect for this time of year however, we’re seeing absolutely no evidence of that being the case. Although week-on-week price movements may continue to soften over the coming weeks, average prices remain nearly 30 per cent above what they were last year.”

Walker added that supply constraints in both the new and used car markets could lead to strong price growth in the used market into 2022.

The Seat Alhambra saw the biggest price increase in November, going up almost 50 per cent to £18,918. This was followed by the Mercedes-Benz CLK, up 45 per cent and the Renault Grand Scenic, up 44 per cent.

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