‘Unbelievable’ used car price rises have seen some vehicles add thousands to their value in May

Used car prices are rising at the sharpest rate in recent memory, leaving even the experts shocked.

Vehicle valuation firm Cap HPI has reported that May could see the average price of a used car go up 6.5 per cent, following a two per cent increase in April – itself a record rise.

It means some drivers might not realise their car is now worth thousands more than it was just a few weeks ago.

Speaking to CarDealerMag.co.uk, Derren Martin, Cap HPI’s head of valuations, said: “We’ve not seen anything like it and have been moving cars up in value every day.

“It is unbelievable out there at the moment. We have not seen anything like this before – the nearest comparison would be the recovery of 2009, which pre-dates me. Certainly in my time here we have not seen anything like it.”

Martin even admitted that prices are moving so quickly that the firm’s monthly price guides are out of date before they arrive.

Big Motoring World car dealership
(Blackball Media)

Cap HPI revealed that the Mini Cooper S had seen the highest increase, jumping £3,000 (15 per cent) in the past month. This was followed by the Audi A3 Cabriolet and Land Rover Discovery Sport, which have added £2,000 to their value.

Prior to the previous record increase last month, the highest price rise was just one per cent in 2018.

The numbers are backed up by online car marketplace Auto Trader, which has reported similar increases on its site of 6.8 per cent, driven by high consumer demand. Visits to the site are up 41 per cent on the same period in 2019 (2020 data is skewed as this period was during the first national lockdown).

In conclusion, Martin said he believes these prices could be here to stay for some time, adding: “I think we’ve got strong values for the summer, at least… that’s not to say they’ll be going up by six per cent every month, but this month we’re expecting around six-and-a-half per cent and maybe then they’ll just stay stable, but they could go up further over the next few weeks as well.”