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Car sellers lose £7bn to secure quick sale

Paloma Kubiak
Written By:
Paloma Kubiak

Second hand car prices have soared, but Brits are losing up to £7bn when selling their motors as they compromise on price for the sake of a quick sale.

The average price of a used car increased 32% in the year to April, according to Auto Trader. This is the 25th month of consecutive year-on-year price growth.

As an example, the motoring firm revealed a Renault Scenic is up 61% to £8,107, a SEAT Alhambra now costs 60% more on average at £18,706, while a Toyota Auris has increased 54% to £12,745.

While this should be good news for car owners looking to sell their vehicle, research from online used car marketplace Motorway revealed that three quarters of Brits find the process daunting, resulting in 70% compromising on cash for a quick sale.

It found a third of people don’t have the time to find the best price, while one in four accept the first offer on the table.

The majority – 85% – admit the priority when selling a car is to get rid of it as quickly as possible, leading to an average loss of £977.

Its poll of 2,000 drivers who sold their car in the last five years, found 54% sold their vehicle for less than they thought it was worth.

On a national level, Motorway calculated this means car sellers lost out on approximately £7.5bn (7.5 million cars sold in the UK in 2021, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders – SMMT).

Further, for half of sellers, they lost money as they didn’t do simple things like buying new floor mats, changing the oil or making small repairs.

Other common oversights and issues among everyone polled included not having an up-to-date service history (14%), not having their car valued before sale (12%), and struggling with paperwork (10%).

Six in 10 (64%) said they ended up feeling ripped off when selling their car, while 62% admitted they regretted rushing to sell their cars in the past because they received less money for them as a result.

Just 14% said they felt very confident they got a good price.

For 69%, they would be willing to take an offer less than market value in order to make the process easier.

A spokesperson for Motorway, said: “Selling your vehicle can be a headache for many, particularly if you don’t feel confident or knowledgeable about cars.”

It said it has a network of 5,000 verified car deals to match sellers with a dealer willing to pay the highest price.