Now could be the best time to buy a used car before prices rise on April 12

Darren Cassey, PA Motoring Reporter
·2-min read

Now could be the best time to buy a used car, with experts suggesting prices could skyrocket when dealers reopen on April 12.

After the first lockdown was eased last year, car dealers saw a huge surge in interest because of pent up demand. However, whereas buyers had few options to buy cars during that initial period, over the past 12 months dealers have developed Covid-safe distance selling protocols.

That means although sales are down during the current lockdown, there are opportunities to take advantage of reduced prices ahead of an expected surge in demand when forecourts can fully reopen.

Speaking to Car Dealer magazine, Derren Martin, head of valuations at Cap HPI said: “It’s a good time to buy a used car for the trade and for consumers.

“I think prices are going to go up once April 12 comes around and I would be out there looking to buy now.

“I certainly wouldn’t be holding back buying at the moment and think it’s a good time to buy. Especially if people are looking in the short term because I think prices will go up.”

Martin said most dealers are selling about 65 per cent of their normal levels, which means around 35 per cent of the typical buyers between January and April could suddenly be looking for a car.

He added: “It’ll be just after Easter and the weather will be getting better, so going out to look for a car will almost be something to do.

“I think you’ll get those 35 per cent of people not buying now who will then, plus those people whose cars are due for renewal anyway around this time, as it’s a busy time for this around March and April for that.”

Although he wouldn’t be drawn on saying how much prices could go up, Martin said older cars and sports cars are seeing the highest rises.

Although car dealerships are currently closed during the national lockdown, they will be allowed to open their doors from April 12. Until then, most dealers will have online sales systems that will allow you to buy a car and pick it up or have it delivered through a socially distanced process.