I was dandering through Charles Hurst the other week when my eye was drawn to a Smart ForTwo for sale. It was 6 years old but it was on sale for nearly 10 grand! Turns out those Smart Cars are over 20k new, who knew? I quite liked the original Smart Car concept but the revamped model divides opinion shall we say. They get very average reviews and you can buy a Polo from 15k or the Kia Picanto from 12k. But they are easy to park and nimble around the city, should this car take your fancy I just noticed they have dropped the price £500 quid.
Anyway, it got me curious about the used car market. Turns out prices are up nearly 40% in some cases in the past year. The main issue seems to be the shortage of new cars and savings burning a hole in peoples pockets. You probably heard that the chip shortage is affecting the supply chains for new cars.
I was chatting to a car sales guy a few months ago and he was telling me they have been selling bucket loads of luxury cars during the pandemic. If you ever wondered who is buying all those Maserattis and Bentleys it turns out a surprising number of people are happy to drop 80k on a car.
I bought a 2-year-old VW Golf just over a year ago for £13200. According to Autotrader, it is now worth £14,900. Obviously, I don’t intend to sell it so the valuation is a bit meaningless but still, it’s interesting to see price rises in action.
The gap between new and used prices is getting ever tighter. If you are in the market for a new car you are probably better going for a new car or waiting a few months to see if the market settles. Or if you don’t care what you drive buy a cheap Honda, they go on forever.
By the way, I quite like the Golf but the ride is very bumpy on our terrible roads and junior keeps getting car sick. If you have recommendations for a smoother riding car I would be interested. I also think I would go for an automatic next, the constant gear changing in Belfast traffic grows very tiresome. But probably I will keep the Golf for a few years then move to electric once prices come down more.
I help to manage Slugger by taking care of the site as well as running our live events. My background is in business, marketing and IT. My politics tend towards middle-of-the-road pragmatism, I am not a member of any political party. Oddly for a member of the Slugger team, I am not that interested in daily politics, preferring to write about big ideas in society. When not stuck in front of a screen, I am a parkrun Run Director.