Used car values have soared by more than 50% in the last two years, with some cars even going up in price as they age.
Figures from AA Cars reveal that among the 10 most popular models on its used car site, values have risen an average of 34%, with some models outside the top 10 achieving as much as a 57% jump since 2019.
The Ford Fiesta - regularly one of the UK’s best-selling cars - has gone up 31%, from an average of £7,448 in August 2019 to £9,770 in August 2021.
Its larger sibling - the Focus - saw an ever greater growth, up 43% from £8,919 to £12,764.
The AA’s figures cover cars from three to five years old and looked at the most searched for models on its platform.
While Fords featured heavily, it was the Mini hatchback that saw the sharpest rise. Values of a three-year-old example are 57% higher than two years ago and five-year-old models are now selling for 15% more than three-year-old examples did in 2019, meaning it has gained value despite ageing two years.
The Ford Transit (55.7%), Citroen C3 (54%), Mercedes E-Class (48.5%), Audi A3 (47%) have also experienced sharp rises in values.
Other models have also seen their value increase despite their advancing age. Toyota Aygo owners who bought a three-year-old model in 2019 could find their car is now worth 11% more, while Volkswagen Golf owners could potentially see a profit of 9.5% if they sell now.
Used car values have risen in recent months as manufacturers have struggled to meet demand for new cars and more commuters have turned to private vehicles rather than public transport.
The impact of the Covid pandemic on showrooms and factories affected production and sales of new models in 2020 and early 2021 and the situation has been made even worse by a global semiconductor shortage. Difficulties in sourcing vital electronic chips has left car makers struggling to build some models, and driven buyers to consider second-hand models.
James Fairclough, CEO of AA Cars commented: “With the exception of houses and some classic cars, things rarely go up in value as they age.
“Yet price growth in the used car market is so strong that some in-demand models are appreciating even as they sit on the driveway. But even though average prices have risen sharply over the past two years, it is still possible to get a good deal on the second-hand market.
“We advise anyone who is in the market for a used car to shop around widely and, when they have narrowed their search, to ask the dealer questions about the specific vehicle they are interested in.
“If they find out it has been sitting around on a forecourt for a while, the dealer may be more inclined to offer a price reduction.”
The latest data echoes findings from sales site Auto Trader which has reported some nearly-new models selling for more than then list price of brand new cars as buyers struggle to secure the vehicle they want.