Owners of some cars could make thousands of pounds extra if they take advantage of a recent boom in used motor values and sell their vehicles today, research shows.
With new car supplies low and orders placed today not expected to arrive for up to a year, the second-hand market is going through a ‘bonkers’ period of demand that has pushed average prices of used models 21 per cent higher than they were a year ago.
This is Money, using exclusive data provided by cap hpi, can reveal which 20 older cars have risen in value most in the previous six months, with used Toyota Auris hybrids and Vauxhall’s Zafira family MPV accelerating in price by almost 60 per cent.
The motors you might want to consider selling to take advantage of soaring used car prices: A shortage of new vehicles has pushed the average values of second-hand cars through the roof in recent months. We reveal which 20 second-hand motors – cars aged three years and with 30,000 miles on the clock – have spiked in value between March and September
A shortage of semiconductor chips needed to into the latest new cars means manufacturers simply can’t make them quickly enough to cope with demand.
Such is the difficulty for drivers to get hands on some brand new motors for the next 12 months that hoards have turned to the used market instead.
This has been a growing trend ever since the pandemic first struck, according to Auto Trader, which told This is Money that values of second-hand cars have grown for 18 consecutive months.
When are used car prices likely to drop?
Derren Martin, head of valuations at cap hpi
‘We’ve been saying that second-hand car prices can’t carry on being this high forever as it just isn’t sustainable,’ cap hpi’s head of valuations, Derren Martin explains.
‘But, if you can’t get the new cars, it might go on for a bit longer than most experts have predicted.’
Mr Martin adds that the second-hand market is likely to plateau before it starts to drop, though that might not happen for some time yet: ‘There is no end in sight for the semiconductor chip shortage at the moment and we think that’s going to last until half way through next year before it returns to normality.
‘That means there’s going to be a lot less cars coming to the market and this phenomenon of higher used values is going to continue.
‘Even if demand drops, we don’t think there’s going to be enough supply coming through that’s going to reverse these massive increases in used prices in a hurry.’
There is already evidence of the second-hand market becoming more limited than it was a year ago.
On average last month, some 362,000 used cars per day were listed for sale on Auto Trader. That compares to an average of 381,000 a year ago – a decline of 5 per cent.
The average value of a second-hand car listed on its website last month was £16,067, up from £13,829 in September 2020 – an increase of 21.4 per cent annually.
Cap hpi, which specialises in vehicle valuations, says the average price rise for a used car between August and September was £862, based on three-year-old cars with 30,000 miles clocked.
‘We’ve broken records pretty much every month since car showrooms reopened following the initial lockdown,’ explained Derren Martin, head of valuations at the company.
‘It was aspirational cars going up in value last year: sports cars, convertibles and luxury models.
This was because people had saved money during lockdowns and had decided to throw some caution to the wind when restrictions eased, buying cars that made them happy.
‘This year, it has been ‘normal’ models – those that sell in high volume – that have been in-demand, and with fairly low residual values usually it means there has been plenty of room for their values to go up.
‘Dealers are really buying anything because there is such a shortage of high demand.
‘We’ve even had reports of double the number of buyers to the number of cars being sold to the trade at auction.
‘Unfortunately for the buying consumer, the extra costs will be passed on, meaning it will only force prices up.’
While this isn’t particularly good news for anyone in the market for a replacement car, it is for owners who want to sell.
And because demand is high for mainstream models, there are plenty of owners to benefit.
A second-hand buying frenzy has sparked value increases for some unlikely motors, including Vauxhall’s Zafira MPV.
‘The Zafira has gone up by £5,000 in the last six or seven months,’ Martin explains.
‘Figures like that are really hard to comprehend but it’s due to demand being strong and a constraint on new car supply.’
While such increases are surprising, even for industry insiders, drivers are warned that even if they do sell for a profit, they face having to pay a premium for a replacement motor bought used – or endure weeks or months at the back of bursting order books for new vehicles.
Do you own one of these 20 cars? They’ve all gone up in value by more than £3,300 in the last six months
We asked cap hpi to provide a list of models that are currently seeing the biggest rise in value in the last half year.
The data is based on three-year-old vehicles with an average of 30,000 miles on the clock.
All cars listed have seen values increase by around 48 per cent and more, with some priced around 60 per cent higher than they were in March 2021.
20. Vauxhall Astra (2015-2020)
Avg value Mar 21: £7,011
Avg value Sep 21: £10,364
Avg £ increase: £3,354
A three-year-old version of the previous-generation Astra has, on average, increased in value by more than £3,300 in the last six months, says cap hpi
Vauxhall’s popular family hatchback creeps into the list of big movers over the last six months.
Used values for the previous-generation car have risen by almost 48 per cent, which means the average value of a three-year-old example with 30,000 miles on the clock is more than £3,300 higher than it was in March.
19. Skoda Yeti (2009-2017)
Avg value Mar 21: £10,691
Avg value Sep 21: £15,786
Avg £ increase: £5,095
The Yeti was discontinued by Skoda in 2017 to make way for the likes of the Kodiaq, Kamiq and Karoq, which are more traditional SUV models. However, Yeti residuals have always been strong
The Yeti was discontinued in 2017, with Skoda switching its SUV range to a more typical design. That said, the Yeti’s quirky looks and practical layout means it has a strong fanbase, which has kept residual values high even since production ended.
Cap hpi says a three-year-old model with average mileage has gone up in value by more than £5,000 on average in the last six months.
18. Jaguar XF (2015- )
Avg value Mar 21: £14,504
Avg value Sep 21: £21,518
Avg £ increase: £7,014
If there is one car segment that tends to boast poor residual values it is luxury models, but the short supply of new XFs to market has pushed average second-hand prices 48% higher in the last six months – the equivalent of £7,000
Luxury models aren’t the cars that usually top lists for holding their value well. Expensive to begin with, they depreciate rather quickly.
However, Jaguar’s XF is the one motor to represent the luxury-car category in this list, with average values of three-year old examples rising by 48.2 per cent between March and September. That translates to an extra £7,000 in an owner’s pocket.
17. Mini Cooper (2018- )
Avg value Mar 21: £10,948
Avg value Sep 21: £16,308
Avg £ increase: £5,360
Owners of Mini Coopers that are three years old and have 30,000 miles on the clock could benefit from the recent surge in used car values, cap hpi says
The shortage of semiconductor chips is hitting UK car makers hard, including Mini’s Plant Oxford, which was forced to halt production earlier this year due to the lack of components.
It means build numbers of the current Mini Cooper are behind, which is forcing used values higher. Owners willing to sell today can expect to pocket £5,350 more than they would have done in March.
16. Ford Kuga (2012-2020)
Avg value Mar 21: £12,647
Avg value Sep 21: £18,796
Avg £ increase: £6,149
The previous-generation Ford Kuga is a practical and popular family SUV, which is helping to keep demand high
Ford recently introduced a new version of its Kuga SUV, with sleeker looks and the additional of a plug-in hybrid drivetrain.
However, the previous-generation car, with its more traditional boxy dimensions and heaps of interior space, remains a popular choice among Britons. Those who already one will be pleased to hear the average value of a three-year-old example has risen by 48.8 per cent in the last half year.
=14. Mini Cooper S (2018- )
Avg value Mar 21: £12,544
Avg value Sep 21: £18,731
Avg £ increase: £6,187
The Cooper S narrowly pips the Mini Cooper for an increase in used values in the last six months, with second-hand sale prices up almost 50%
Mini’s answer to a hot hatchback, the Cooper S, is bettering the standard Cooper when it comes to increasing residual values in recent months.
Owners of this nippy motor would pocked an additional £6,187 if they sold now compared to six months ago, based on cap hpi’s data for three-year-old cars with 30,000 miles on the clock.
=14. Kia Soul EV (2014-2019)
Avg value Mar 21: £10,700
Avg value Sep 21: £16,000
Avg £ increase: £5,300
This Kia Soul EV is a good example of how rapidly electric cars are developing, with it offering less than half the range of the current car sold in showrooms. But drivers eager to get their hands on used EVs in 2021 has pushed the value 50% higher in six months
Cap hpi told us that few electric cars feature in this list because their used values are already so high. Yet the previous-generation Kia Soul EV clearly had some room for movement in 2021.
The average price of a three-year-old second-hand example with up to 30,000 zero-emission miles totted up has risen by almost 50 per cent in the previous six months. With an official range of 132 miles, it falls quite some way short of the current Soul EV (280 miles).
13. Nissan X-Trail (2015-2019)
Avg value Mar 21: £11,404
Avg value Sep 21: £17,067
Avg £ increase: £5,663
Three-year-old Nissan X-Trails have increased in value by almost 50% in the last six months, with owners able to reap the rewards of surging second-hand prices – granted they can find a replacement without having to pay over the odds
With demand for big SUVs going strong, the Nissan X-Trail is one model that is seeing second-hand values rise this year.
Owners could sell a three-year-old X-Trail with 30,000 miles for £5,650 more than they would have done back in March, with average values for these off-roaders rising 49.6 per cent.
12. Nissan Qashqai (2018-2021)
Avg value Mar 21: £11,929
Avg value Sep 21: £17,901
Avg £ increase: £5,973
If there is one car there are plenty of on our roads it’s the Qashqai, with it being the best-selling SUV for well over a decade. Yet despite such levels of availability, used examples of the previous-generation model are going up in value
The Nissan Qashqai has been the most popular SUV in the UK ever since it first hit the market in the mid-2000s. Despite there being plenty on the road – and a new model hitting showrooms this year – values of second-hand examples are going up.
A three-year-old Qashqai with 30,000 miles tallied up in that time has risen in value over the last six months – on average – from £12,000 to almost £18,000.
11. Renault Kadjar (2015-2019)
Avg value Mar 21: £9,643
Avg value Sep 21: £14,502
Avg £ increase: £4,859
The Renault Kadjar has marginally outperformed its sister car – the Nissan Qashqai – for percentage used value increases, though the latter still commands a higher price
The Kadjar and Nissan Qashqai are mechanically very similar, sharing the same platforms and engine ranges as part of the partnership between Renault and its Japanese sister brand.
It’s not much of a coincidence to see values for the French compact SUV rising at a similar rate as the Qashqai, with there clearly being appeal for second-hand motors of this type. This has pushed used Kadjar prices higher by 50.4 per cent in the last six months, based on three-year-old examples.
10. Peugeot Partner Tepee (2008-2018)
Avg value Mar 21: £8,125
Avg value Sep 21: £12,320
Avg £ increase: £4,195
A great choice for families but also a popular car for those using the Motability scheme and need a vehicle that can provide wheelchair access
A good option for those with small families and also a very popular model via the Motability schemes, with the van-turned-mini-MPV capable of taking wheelchairs with some adaptation.
Diesel variants have seen a boom in value in recent months, with a three-year-old Partner Tepee worth just over £8,000 in March and now selling for over £12,000.
9. Volvo V40 (2012-2019)
Avg value Mar 21: £10,445
Avg value Sep 21: £15,879
Avg £ increase: £5,434
Volvo no longer builds the V40 – or any conventional hatchback. Market data shows that used values have risen by 52% in the last six months
Volvo might have binned its V40 a couple of years ago, essentially replacing it with the compact XC40 SUV, but it’s still an accomplished motor for anyone in the market for a traditional family hatchback.
Owners who bought one new three years ago and have put around 30,000 miles will be pleased to hear values have climbed by 52 per cent in the last six month, adding over £5,000 in monetary terms.
8. Toyota Prius Hybrid (2015-2019)
Avg value Mar 21: £11,586
Avg value Sep 21: £17,759
Avg £ increase: £6,173
The Prius is the original green car, and buyers still want them today – both new and used. Second-hand examples that are three years old have risen in value by 53.3% since March, says cap hpi
The original poster car for greener motoring, the Prius is still going strong today. Those living in cities will know that the hybrid Toyota remains the top choice for ride hailing firms, with the car providing good reliability and low running costs in urban areas.
It’s the conventional hybrid that we’re focussing on here (not the plug-in hybrid), with cap hpi saying the value of a three-year-old used example with 30,000 miles racked up has grown from just under £11,600 in March 2021 to a fraction under £17,800 by September.
7. Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid (2016-2020)
Avg value Mar 21: £10,335
Avg value Sep 21: £15,860
Avg £ increase: £5,525
A used Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid’s value has increased by around 53% in the last six months, with owners of three-year-old examples able to sell for over £15,000 today
Another used hybrid soaring in value is Hyundai’s Ioniq, which, like the Toyota Prius, is a large family car boasting eco credentials for those who live in built-up areas.
With more drivers considering alternative fuel vehicles, the Ioniq has seen a huge surge in value in the last six months. In March, you should have expected to pay around £10,000 for a good second-hand example from 2018 with 30,000 miles on the clock. In September, used prices rose to £15,680 – a 53.5 per cent increase.
6. Ford Galaxy (2015-2020)
Avg value Mar 21: £13,825
Avg value Sep 21: £21,249
Avg £ increase: £7,424
A three-year-old Ford Galaxy can sell today for over £21,000, which is almost £7,500 more than second-hand prices commanded in March
A three-year-old diesel Galaxy with 30,000 miles on the clock is worth 54 per cent more today that it was six months ago, such is the demand for big, family-transporting, motors.
5. Vauxhall Mokka (2012-2020)
Avg value Mar 21: £8,397
Avg value Sep 21: £12,940
Avg £ increase: £4,542
The first-generation Vauxhall Mokka is no longer produced, but demand for used examples is high. The average second-hand sale price for a three-year-old car is 54% higher than it was six months ago
There’s a new Mokka in Vauxhall showrooms today, and – in our opinion – its daring looks are far more attractive than this relatively mundane first attempt. Yet there is growing demand for the compact SUV on the used market.
Cap hpi data shows that a three-year-old Mokka with average mileage has gone up in value by 54 per cent in the last half year – meaning owners could make £4,500 more selling today than if they offloaded in March.
4. Vauxhall Combo Life (2018- )
Avg value Mar 21: £8,100
Avg value Sep 21: £12,610
Avg £ increase: £4,510
Like the Peugeot Partner Tepee, the Vauxhall Combo Life is a van-inspired MPV that’s also a capable Motability option. Values of used cars are up by 56%, says cap hpi
Another used Vauxhall gaining in value in the last half a year is the Combo Life – the brand’s answer to a van-shaped MPV based on its commercial vehicle.
Values for three-year-old examples are up almost 56 per cent in six months. It means an owner selling today would make £4,500 more on average than if they did in March.
3. Mercedes-Benz V-Class (2014-2019)
Avg value Mar 21: £25,183
Avg value Sep 21: £39,583
Avg £ increase: £14,400
A used Mercedes-Benz V-Class is risen in value by £14,400 on average in the last six months, says cap hpi
From a compact MPV to one of the biggest on the market – the V-Class is based on the Vito commercial vehicle, offering seating for up to seven with ample space for luggage in the boot.
Residual values are always high, given the small production outputs and the fact many are bought up by taxi businesses. Yet those who own a V-Class and are willing to sell could make £14,400 more than they would have done in March, with average values of three-year-old examples up 57 per cent.
2. Vauxhall Zafira (2012-2018)
Avg value Mar 21: £8,547
Avg value Sep 21: £13,495
Avg £ increase: £4,949
Cap hpi says it is ‘really hard to comprehend’ that a three-year-old Vauxhall Zafira could increase in value by 58% in six month, but that is the case for the previous six months
Even cap hpi says it is ‘really hard to comprehend’ that a used Vauxhall Zafira has gone up in value by as much as they have, but that’s the sizable impact the semiconductor chip shortage is having on the wider motor market today.
A three-year-old Zafira would have sold for just over £8,500 around March, but a near-58 per cent rise in value since means some are paying up to £13,500 for a used one.
1. Toyota Auris Hybrid (2012-2019)
Avg value Mar 21: £9,685
Avg value Sep 21: £15,492
Avg £ increase: £5,808
Toyota’s Auris Hybrid is the biggest value riser of all used cars in the UK right now. Second-hand prices are up 60%, according to cap hpi’s data
The biggest used-car value riser in the last six months is Toyota’s Auris. It has since been replaced by the Corolla – which is built in Burnaston, but demand for second-hand hybrid versions of the green family hatch have gone sky high.
Prices being paid for three-year-old versions with 30,000 miles clocked up are up 60 per cent in the last half year, pushing average values from just over £9,600 in March to nearly £15,500 last month.
Some links in this article may be affiliate links. If you click on them we may earn a small commission. That helps us fund This Is Money, and keep it free to use. We do not write articles to promote products. We do not allow any commercial relationship to affect our editorial independence.