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Used car prices increase again, ute prices down

Used car prices continued to rise in the first quarter of this year, with wholesale used car prices now up by 37 per cent over their pre-pandemic high.

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Supply issues for new cars have seen used car prices continue their inexorable rise, though ute prices dipped slightly.

The latest data from Moody’s Analytics shows used car prices in Australia are up five per cent in the first quarter of 2021.

It’s the slowest quarterly increase in the past four quarters, but still faster than any quarterly increase in the 10 years prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Overall, wholesale used car prices are up by over 37 per cent the pre-pandemic high set in February 2020.

“Prices are not expected to revert to pre-pandemic levels, as they will remain elevated throughout the second quarter while supply pressures and steady demand keep the market hot,” the latest Moody’s Analytics report says.

Beyond the third quarter of this year, Moody’s Analytics reports used car prices will be flat.

The report cites already-tight new car inventories being further stretched in the wake of the semiconductor shortage, which is in turn pushing buyers to used cars to avoid waiting lists.

It does, however, flag some prospective buyers may be avoiding purchasing a used car in the hope demand weakens and prices come down.

A strong economic recovery has also kept new car demand high, further affecting supply, while people are also relying more on their personal vehicles as they avoid public transportation and air travel.

As things return to some semblance of normalcy, Australians will return to those means of transportation in greater numbers.

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William Stopford
William Stopford

William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel (remember that?), briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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