As new car production continues to be badly affected by a shortage of components – namely due to limited supplies of semiconductors, which are used in everything from reversing cameras to safety assistance systems – many people are flocking to used cars like never before.
It’s having a huge knock-on effect on the prices of used cars too – especially on the models with long waiting times for a brand-new version. In fact, data from automotive analysts Cap HPI show that values have risen by 20.3 per cent in the past five months alone, with some cars jumping in value by nearly 50 per cent in that time.
It means that used cars are now pricier than they’ve ever been. However, there is still a range of models that continue to offer great value for money. Here are the used car bargains still available.
Though Vauxhall’s Astra might not be the most aspirational car in its class, that has never harmed its popularity. And it’s this that works to its advantage if you’re looking for a bargain, as with the huge choice of models available, it helps to guarantee you a great deal on a used example.
So while the soon-to-be-replaced Astra might cost you £20,000 new, by looking at nearly-new versions you can quite easily save yourself well in excess of £5,000. We spotted a 2020 car with under 10,000 miles on the clock for just £13,495 – you’d struggle to find a new city car for that price. While it’s often overlooked, the Astra is still good to drive, looks good and has a practical interior that is ideal for families.
BMW X3 M Competition
BMW’s M division is best known for its sports saloons like the M3 and M5, these days the brand’s sporty SUVs play an equally important part. Take the X3 M Competition, for example – the brand’s ‘entry-level’ M model in the SUV line-up, though with its 503bhp twin turbo 3.0-litre engine under the bonnet, it’s far from basic in terms of performance.
If you wanted a new model it would set you back an eye-watering £83,000 (and that’s before you’ve chosen any optional extras). But by looking at used versions instead you can save quite a considerable chunk of money. We found a 2020 car with just 5,000 miles on the clock for £60,000, which is a vast saving off the original list price.
While Mercedes might be gearing up to launch its new ‘SL’ as its convertible flagship, its recently axed predecessor is well worth your attention. Though more old-school in its character, this glamorous drop-top is still dripping in class, while gets a punchy engine that would prove effortless on the long-distance trips this Mercedes is meant for.
Though no longer available to buy new, before its production run ended a factory-fresh version would have set you back upwards of £80,000. But today, you could expect to find a one-year-old example with just a few thousand miles on the clock for around £65,000. Granted, that’s still a lot of money, but a very generous saving off the original asking price.
Due to the increased popularity of electric cars, it often means bargains are quite rare to come across. One exception to that rule is Audi e-tron – the brand’s flagship SUV – which, despite its high-quality, tech-laden interior and comfortable drive isn’t holding its value quite as well as you might expect.
But that just makes it a terrific used buy, especially as a 2020 car with under 10,000 miles on the clock that can be had for £45,000 – a huge £15,000 saving on what you’d pay for a brand-new model. Just be aware that this applies to the ‘50’ model with the smaller battery option, which only allows for an electric range of around 200 miles.
Sometimes the best trick to finding a used car bargain is to choose a car that flies under the radar, and one great example is the Volkswagen Arteon. It’s the brand’s most ‘executive’ model these days, yet despite its striking design it’s often cast aside by buyers who favour a more premium badge.
By doing so they’re missing out on its refined driving experience, upmarket interior and efficient engines, though. However, you can use this to your benefit, as a 2020 car in high-spec R-Line trim with low miles is available from around £26,000 – an almost ridiculous £13,000 less than the list price of a new example. So, while used car values might be rising at a silly rate, there are most certainly still bargains that can be had.