I’m a car expert – this is why second-hand vehicles are becoming more expensive

A car expert has revealed the reason why second-hand cars are becoming more and more expensive – and it’s not just because of inflation.

The cost of fuel, insurance, and roadside recovery means that motorists are losing more of their disposable income, while the cost of living crisis is making it harder for people to buy and own their own car, especially youngsters.

What’s more, the rise in cost means those who would like to get a car can’t – which causes problems for people trying to find employment, too.

Some have suggested that this means the cheap car in Britain is dead and that owners can’t get what they need for not very much.

Express.co.uk spoke exclusively to the motoring editor of Motors.co.uk, Steven Edwards, about whether the cheap car was still alive and well in the UK.

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Mr Edwards said that one of the main reasons for the rise in prices isn’t just inflation, but other global problems too.

He explained: “Taking inflation into account, a cheap car today would probably be classed as anything priced under £6,000. Buying a car for a cheap price that’s not very old and has relatively low mileage is not as easy as it once was, but it is still possible.

“One of the main reasons for the increase in price for used cars was the lack of production of new cars. This was due to a chip shortage following the pandemic.

“The chips are essential to modern cars and almost act as the ‘brain’ of the electronic components. Since then the demand for used cars has increased and so have the prices.”

As well as becoming more expensive to buy and own, cars are also becoming more expensive to repair. Mr Edwards said drivers could take some preemptive steps to save money.

He said: “When looking for a car, identifying which models are suited to what you will be using it for is key to prolonging the lifespan of your vehicle. For instance, don’t buy a car with a big diesel engine if you only need to drive to the shops occasionally and do the school run.

“But on the other hand, don’t buy a small petrol car if you’re frequently driving long journeys. Buy the right car that is suited to your needs and you will get the most out of your vehicle as a result.

“Once you’ve bought a car, the benefits of looking after it properly cannot be overstated.”

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Mr Edwards added: “Keeping your car’s fluids topped up to ensure the smooth running of your vehicle is essential, as is servicing your vehicle at the correct intervals.

“Maintaining and servicing your car meticulously will not only extend its lifespan but there’s also the potential that it will be worth more when the time comes for you to sell it.”

As a result of a rise in the cost of driving, there are questions over how or whether young people will be able to start driving.

On this, Mr Edwards said: “For young people especially, utilising the second hand car market has always been a popular choice, as it’s generally more affordable.

“With the current cost of cars, many young people find the most sensible option is to buy a used car and in September 2023, we actually reported a fall in the average price of used cars on our site.”

Mr Edwards added: “Young people can still get on the road in other ways without having to necessarily buy a car outright.

“One of the more common methods is to get insured on a family car and once they or somebody else in the family can afford to buy a new one, take full ownership.”

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