The new car market has faced serious turmoil over the last year due to the impact of the Covid pandemic and part shortages around the world.
Sales have been down and factories have struggled to build enough cars, leaving dealers struggling.
However, the shortage of new cars has been good news for the second-hand market, with prices soaring by record levels as buyers abandon plans for a brand-new car and opt to buy used instead.
In many cases, used values have risen by up to 30% but in some more extreme instances, second-hand examples are selling for more than the list price of a brand new example.
Data from Auto Trader shows that premium brands such as Land Rover and Volvo have seen nearly new models selling for up to 23% more than brand new but even some models from Dacia, which sells the UK’s cheapest new cars, are fetching more second-hand than they cost new.
Figures from quarter two looking at models up to 12 months old show that the supply issues and huge demand for the new Land Rover Defender have pushed its asking price up by almost £14,000. Dealers are asking for an average of £71,474 for a Defender 90 D250 X-Dynamic, compared with its new list price of £57,960.
In fact, Defender variants account for seven of the 22 models identified as selling for more used than new, with the Range Rover Sport, Evoque and Velar also in the list.
The list features 11 distinct models, with different engines and trims fetching different amounts. Here’s a breakdown of the most profitable nearly new models.
Land Rover Defender
Both 90 and 110 variants of the Land Rover Defender feature heavily on the list. The short wheelbase D250 MHEV X-Dynamic SE offered the best returns, but SE versions of the 90 were also going for £69,920 - 20% more than the £58,120 list price. Elsewhere, the D250 X-Dynamic S and SE brought profits of up to 7% for 110 variants.
Toyota GR Yaris
Toyota’s rally-bred hot hatch created quite a stir when it raced onto the scene last year and its reputation and rarity mean used examples of the standard version are being advertised at £36,990 - a 20% hike on list - while Circuit Pack equipped cars are going for £36,999, an 8.5% rise on the new price.
Dacia Sandero/ Sandero Stepway
The Sandero is officially the UK’s cheapest new car but even it isn’t immune to price rises. New versions of it and the more rugged Sandero Stepway were launched in 2021 but examples up to a year old are fetching £12,700 for a 1.0 TCe Comfort - 3.2% up on the £12,305 list price. The Stepway, however, is fetching even more on the used market, and in Q2 dealers were able to ask 5.5% more for a second-hand model than the car is usually sold for.
Range Rover Sport
Despite diesel falling out of favour in the new market, 3.0-litre D300 examples of the Range Rover Sport still seem to be in demand. Auto Trader reported that used examples up to 12 months old were being offered at £77,000 in Q2 - a 5.3% jump over the new list price.
Range Rover Evoque
Used examples of the Sport’s smaller sibling commanded a smaller premium than the larger car but were still fetching more than 4% over list price, with 2.0-litre diesel mild hybrids in R-Dynamic S trim advertised at £43,563, almost £4,000 more than list price
Volkswagen’s all-electric family hatchback has proved to be an instant hit with buyers as they scramble to get their hands on one. Soaring interest in EVs has helped keen its prices strong so far, with dealers charging a £1,500 premium for lightly used Tour Pro S models - a 3.79% increase over list price.
Audi RS4 Avant
Audi’s RS models are always in demand thanks to their spectacular performance. The RS4 Avant with its 2.9-litre V6 offers 444bhp and will hit 60mph from standstill in around four seconds. Owners of this outrageously fast estate who will already be feeling pretty pleased with themselves will be even more delighted to know that examples of the Nogaro Edition are selling for £82,995 - a 2.5% rise on the original price.
Volvo’s compact XC40 SUV is a symbol of the brand’s recent transformation into a desirable, cool premium marque and its current value is a sign of how well it is doing. 1.5-litre T3 models in sporty R-Design or R-Design Pro trim have held their values well, fetching hundreds of pounds more as used examples as buyers look to secure one quickly.
Range Rover Velar
Sitting between the Sport and Evoque, the Velar has never been a huge seller for Range Rover but there’s still enough demand for plug-in hybrid variants to keep values high for used examples. Last quarter saw dealers asking an average of £70,844 for high-spec R-Dynamic models up to a year old - a small 0.5% premium on the brand-new list price.
Honda Civic Type R
Another hot hatch famed for its staggering performance. The Civic Type R isn’t to everyone’s taste but with a 316bhp turbocharged engine and remarkable handling there’s a lot to like about it. Perhaps reflecting the divisive styling, it’s the more subtle Sport Line model that has been selling for a modest 0.1% over list in recent months.
We’re now talking profits of less than £100 but it’s still astonishing to think that year-old examples of BMW’s pig-ugly coupe-SUV are so sought-after they haven’t depreciated at all. In the X6’s case, dealers are still making a sliver of profit (0.02%) on used versions of the diesel-powered 40d with M Sport trim.