No. You're not seeing things, used car prices are going through the roof

With summer just around the corner used car prices are quiet literally out of this world, up 10% in just a month

19w ago

You there!

Yes, you. The craigslist-scouring car addict. Have you been struggling to find an NA Miata for cheap? Or perhaps are you're a wealthier fellow, and you can't quite understand why that E30 M3 you've always wanted now costs $250,000? Well, you're not alone!

Used car prices, especially amongst enthusiasts, have truly taken off even though when Covid first hit, many expected a tumulus economic fallout. But after an initial slump in March 2020, everything from meme-stocks to vintage Shelby Cobras has seen massive spikes in sale prices.

BMW Group Classic

BMW Group Classic

But why is it that amid the worst health crisis this country has seen in over a century, with unemployment at over 6% that people now, more than ever, are buying cars?

Well, the first answer to this question is somewhat more straightforward. Put simply, people with money, stuck at home, are bored. Most years, some might spend tens of thousands on vacation or eating out, but during lockdown, that money has nowhere to go.

This opened a vacuum filled by sites such as Cars and Bids, Bring a Trailer, and so on—giving people that hit of consumerism they needed, all from their couch.

And unlike a vacation, cars remain a relatively covid-safe activity. You can still go for a drive with your friends without fear of getting infected.

More recently, though, the global microchip shortage means an extreme lack of new vehicles getting out to customers. This, coupled with the halt of new-car production in early 2020, has driven many would-be new car buyers to the used market. Vastly inflating prices. With April being the "largest one-month increase [in used vehicle prices] since the series began in 1953," according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.


Join In

Comments (11)

  • Also could be that a lot of people can no longer afford brand new cars, so they turn to the 2nd hand market

      4 months ago
    • I agree, cars have become hugely expensive and ridiculously so. Lots of cars last therefore a 12/24 month old car does the same job with less initial cost.

        4 months ago
    • Also, don't forget, older cars have less electronics, infotainment and other useless crap. They are in generally less complicated.

        3 months ago
  • Plus dealers world wide have been running out of stock to sell due to production stoppages. In the UK dealerships are giving good money for used cars if they are desperately trying to obtain cars to sell. The Jaguar Land Rover dealership my dad works for have had to buy back all of the fleet cars from businesses who aren't using them currently as they are really short of new and used vehicles, plus JLR are on shutdown until the computer chips arrive for their cars.

      4 months ago
  • It's getting crazy. No doubt.

      4 months ago
  • I bought a 2020 Mustang last November. It had about 2,250 miles. My drive out was $10k less than original sticker. We had a offer for my wife's car for a trade. 3 weeks later the same dealer bought it from us through Marketplace for $3,500 more than the original offer.

      4 months ago
  • WHY THE HECK ARE S2K'S GOIN UP IN VALUE- Literally my reaction to going on CarMax and CarGurus

      4 months ago