It used to be that only classic cars were an investment, but the same is true now if you own a Ford Focus.
Changing a used engine is now a “nice little income”, as Arthur Daley, Cockney wheel dealer, would have put it on the TV show. Less, with prices rising 30% in the past year thanks to the continuing shortage of computer chips that is blocking production of new cars, according to figures from the Motorway website.
And last month, one in six nearly new cars (less than 12 months old) were more expensive than the all-new version, separate data from the Automotive dealer market fairs.
Traditional auto rules, including the fact that a car starts to lose value the moment you walk into the dealership, are no longer true as the supply of new cars runs out, said Tom Leathes , General Manager of Autoroute. “The numbers are drastically reduced,” he said. “The main reason is the shortage of chips, which means it’s very difficult for automakers to manufacture in any volume, so there are huge waiting lists. “
As a result, highway data shows sharp increases in the used value of popular models such as the Ford Focus. Last month, the average Focus, driven by Microsoft founder Bill Gates and singer Lily Allen, sold for £ 13,309 on the site, or £ 3,346 – or 34% – over a year ago . The value of a Nissan Qashqai, another family choice, had risen by almost a quarter, to £ 11,525.
Data from the Office for National Statistics last week showed used car prices increased by more than a fifth since April, fueling inflation at a time when many Britons are worried about cars. their household finances.
The rising cost of buying a car isn’t the only pressure motorists are facing because, in the wake of panic buying that has emptied the country’s forecourts, fuel prices are near record highs. .
Leathes said the shortage of new cars meant people who would normally buy new cars were opting for used cars, adding: Prices went up dramatically. We are living in unprecedented times – a used car is usually a depreciating asset. “
The squeeze is evidenced by industry data which shows the slump in new car sales. Only 215,000 new cars were registered last month, the lowest figure since 1998. The numbers were down by a third even from a weak 2020, when Covid restrictions hampered buying and selling. sale, and down nearly 45% from the 10-year average before the pandemic.
With soaring second-hand prices, Automotive dealer figures show that in September, one in six nearly new cars cost more than the new version.
The disruption of the industry supply chain means the average wait time for a new car is between four and six months, but can go up to 12 months for models like the Land Rover Discovery Sport. . Last week, Jaguar Land Rover’s Halewood plant in Merseyside was forced to shut down temporarily due to the chip shortage.
“There have always been over 100,000 cars in the UK at any given time that consumers could get hold of with virtually immediate delivery,” explained Ian Plummer, Automotive dealercommercial director of. “No one has a good idea of what that number is now, but based on the evolution of new cars available on Automotive dealer in the last six months or so, it has probably dropped by two-thirds.
Demand is high as consumers look to buy or upgrade their vehicles using the money saved during closures, or as they move away from public transport to get to work.
“I don’t think a lot of people in the industry thought that a 12-month-old car would ever sell for a higher price than the new equivalent,” said Plummer, who added that the price growth rate of the opportunity always accelerated. Figures from last week show that the average price of a used car was 23.9% higher than a year ago, Plummer adding: than mere economy.