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Your essential used car price guide

18 August 2021

Between lengthy forecourt closures, plenty of lockdown-based consumer hesitation and a bucketload of “uncertainty”, the car industry, like so many others, has struggled throughout the pandemic. Coming out the other side, however, we are seeing plenty of signs of life in the sector – not least in the used car space.

The used car market has always been the foundation of the industry, and used car sales are soaring to record-breaking levels. While this is good news, it can also throw up a few key questions for anyone looking to buy or sell a used car – the most obvious being: where do used car prices stand at the moment?

The short answer is that it’s very much a seller’s market, which is fantastic news for anyone looking to sell or part-exchange their vehicle. But why is that? And how can you ensure you’re getting a proper valuation on your vehicle in the current market?

Our used car price guide will explain all.

Where are used car prices in the UK right now?

Fleet News recently reported that used car prices in the UK continued to rise in July, marking five consecutive months of growth, and leaving prices 3.1% higher than three years previous – an equivalent of £425 a car. Over the back end of spring and summer this year alone, prices have risen significantly, with a jump of 16.6% in used car values since April.

That hike in prices comes as part of a record-breaking second quarter for domestic used car sales, as pent-up demand and a shortage of new vehicles saw a total of 2.17 million units shifted between April and June this year. That is double the figure for the same period a year ago. Uptake in the second-hand electric vehicle and plug-in hybrid markets has been even greater, with sales more than tripling in the second quarter but still only making up 1.3% of total used car transactions.

Essentially, used car prices in the UK are currently high across the board. This may mean holding off on a purchase until supply and demand issues balance out, or indeed pushing through a sale or part-exchange as quickly as possible to maximise your returns.

Used care price check – what’s your car worth?

If you're looking to sell, the big question is what is your car worth? Market statistics and percentage increases might be useful in knowing that you’re in line to get a good deal, but they don’t give you an exact value for your particular vehicle, so how do you find that out?

Last month, we put together a guide that detailed the main factors behind car value, as well as what you can do to enhance it. We’d recommend taking a look for a more in-depth explanation, but, in summary, the key elements that affect a car’s value are:

  • Age
  • Mileage
  • Condition
  • Options and add-ons
  • Brand reputation
  • Location
  • Market conditions

While these factors alone won’t give you a figure, you can use them when analysing your car against similar options priced on the market. Once you’ve done a bit of market research, you’ll be able to get a feel or a rough pricing bracket for your vehicle. When you factor in the elements above and whether your car is above or below average in those areas, you should be able to round that value down to a more accurate number.

Using a used car price guide

There are several official used car price guides you can refer to for pricing information. The two most famous and well-regarded used car price check guides are the CAP Black Book and Glass’s Guide – both of which are used by the motor trade industry.

These official guides charge for the information, but you will get four different valuations (as long as you provide sufficient information): dealer price, private sale price, part-exchange value and the trade price. Even though these valuations are made based on professional information, they are still guide prices and subjective. But if you are looking for the most accurate valuation possible, and willing to pay for it, this is an option.

Using a valuation tool

Of course, you might not fancy paying to get an idea of a price for your car. Indeed, that’s not something really necessary unless you’re looking at a specialist or classic sale where information is limited. Instead, you can use our free car valuation tool, which will give you a price for your vehicle in the space of a few clicks and a matter of minutes.

All we need to know is some basic information about yourself and your vehicle, and we’ll be able to provide you with a figure based on current market rates. It’s a simple way to cut through the valuation process, particularly at a time when used car prices are hitting remarkable heights. It’s especially useful if you’re thinking of selling or trading in your car with us.

You can get started right away, and have your valuation e-mailed through in just a few minutes.

Take advantage of better used car prices with Robins & Day

If you're looking to sell, part-exchange or buy soon, we’re here to help. Alongside our extensive range of used cars, we offer a wealth of guarantees, and always look to be as fair as possible in our pricing. Our valuation tool can give you an idea of the sort of deal you can expect, so it’s a great place to start if you’re thinking of coming to us.

Alternatively, you can pay us a visit. Find your nearest dealer today or contact us to find out more about our used or new car offering.

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