Used car prices and the used car market frequently fluctuates. But, since 2020 and during the COVID-19 pandemic, the price of used cars has been gradually going up, to the point where today they have become incredibly expensive. Plus, in rare instances, used car models of identical cars have become more expensive than brand new ones.
But why are used cars so expensive? Here we share answers to questions about why the price of used cars is going up, as well as advice on how to save money when buying a used car and any maintenance it may need too.
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How Did COVID Affect Used Car Prices?
When the pandemic hit and the UK went into lockdown, like other industries, car manufacturers and dealerships had to close. However, because so many people were worried about travelling on public transport, this increased the demand for buying used cars. This demand, along with car manufacturers and dealers needing to regain their lost income, is one of the main reasons used cars are now so expensive.
Also, as several businesses decided to stay remote working, rather than returning to the office, this meant the people who had cars for commuting no longer needed them. By these people selling their cars to dealerships, this increased the number of ‘newer’ models available for car dealers to sell at a higher price too.
Have Any Used Car Parts Become Expensive To Make?
The global microchip and semiconductor shortages have had a huge effect on the price of used cars. Because of the shortage, a lot less new cars are being manufactured and sold. Microchips and semiconductors are going up in price, so this is making car manufacturers experiment alternative ways to produce new models, delaying new cars being sold.
As many used cars already have microchips and semiconductors installed, this is another reason the second hand car market is currently so expensive.
Is The Cost-Of-Living Crisis Making Used Cars More Expensive?
Since spring of this year, the cost of living crisis has had a huge effect on the price of used cars. Like during the COVID lockdowns, car dealerships are needing to increase prices to sell used cars. But not only this, as the population is reviewing their household budgets, certain people are choosing to cancel their car finance plans or leases.
This again is leading towards more people buying used cars, which in turn, is making them more expensive. Not only this, but with petrol prices and charges from mechanics drastically going up, more economical used cars are in high demand.
Tips For Saving Money With A Used Car
While used car prices are expensive at the moment, it isn’t all doom and gloom. There are plenty of ways you can avoid spending too much, helping you buying the car of your dreams.
Complete A Used Car Valuation
If there’s a particular model of car you are interested in, completing an online car valuation tool gives you an approximate price, to get a better idea of your budget.
Check As Much Of The Service History As You Can
As used cars are getting more expensive, finding out as much as you can about the service history, lets you find out any cost-effective issues which may still be apparent. It is also a good idea to take a used car for a test drive.
Take Your Time When Searching
As we mentioned earlier, now there’s a greater choice of used cars available to buy. So, if the car you are thinking of buying is too much, keep an open mind and take your time searching for a used car.
Haggle The Price Of A Used Car
Not all of us are naturally able to haggle and it sounds very daunting. But often, if you do your research, are confident and relaxed, you can haggle the price of a used car, to get the best deal possible.
Perform Regular Maintenance Checks
Keeping on top of your standard maintenance checks is an easy way to reduce used car costs, and make sure everything is running smoothly. Because if you don’t address any issues quickly, the price to fix them will continue to grow.
Although the price of used cars is going up, there’s still plenty of ways to stop the being too expensive. Another way to stop your used car being expensive is lowering your car insurance, and you can learn how to reduce it by reading our guide.