Used car prices are soaring - Select Car Leasing
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Used car prices are soaring

The cost of purchasing a second hand car is at an all-time high.

Recent stats released by the website AutoTrader found that the average price of a used car now stands at £20,340 - a figure that represents a 29 percent increase compared with last year’s stats.

While there are lots of different factors at play, the main reason attributed to the price hike is uncertainty in the new car market caused by the global shortage of ‘semiconductors’.

These are the electronic circuits used in the microchips that feature in modern cars and which help to control everything from the car’s airbags to automatic parking assistance.

When the factories that produce semiconductors closed down due to Covid-19, it had a knock on effect for the industry that caused some temporary difficulties in getting shiny new vehicles to customers.

But if you’re a car enthusiast, there’s a silver lining… in that if you manage to bag yourself a future classic now, it’s only going to appreciate in value.

And according to the experts at Select Car Leasing, the UK’s largest independent specialists for car and van leasing, you don’t need to spend big to reap the rewards.

Graham Conway, Managing Director of Select Car Leasing explains: 

“We’re not talking here about cars to purchase as daily drivers here - for that, leasing is the perfect way to drive new without suffering the cost of depreciation. And thankfully for us as a leasing company, the problems posed by the shortage of semiconductors are beginning to ease. Instead we see the cars on this list as vehicles to purchase now, to keep well maintained and secreted in your garage or on your driveway at home, and which you’ll be able to sell for a major profit in the years to come.
“And there’s no reason you can’t take them for a stretch on a Sunday, either!”

Here’s Select Car Leasing’s tips for affordable classics of the future:

Honda Civic Type R GT (2007, £5,000)

Select Car Leasing: 

“The definitive Civic Type R was the second generation, 200 PS ‘EP3’ first unleashed back in 2001. For years that was the one that petrolheads craved, and you might struggle to find an affordable example right now. The third generation Type R however, introduced in 2007, is perhaps seen by some as a slightly less honed version of the EP3… but more and more fans are warming to the GT, and prices are on the rise.”

MINI Cooper John Cooper Works R56 (2010, £7,500)

“The definitive pocket rocket, the 211 bhp MINI Cooper John Cooper Works will hit 62mph from a standstill in 6.5 seconds and handles like it’s on rails. The car that came before it, the R50, had a supercharger, which brought its own issues, and the 1.6 litre engine in the R56 requires some love. But if you get a sorted one, it’s guaranteed to put a smile on your face.”

Subaru Legacy R.Spec B (2006, £5,500)

“No, the 3.0 litre flat six engine isn’t going to give you great economy - you might get 25 mpg if you’re lucky. But what you do get is face-melting acceleration courtesy of 243 bhp. And while petrolheads will have flocked to the similarly ballistic Subaru Impreza STi, the Legacy offers better practicality and an under-rated ‘sleeper’ vibe.”

Nissan Figaro (1991, £8,000)

“A cute and cuddly entry into this list, the Nissan Figaro has a certain charm that you don’t often find in modern cars. It has a small 1.0 litre engine and the rear seats aren’t much use, but the design is timeless and they’re becoming sought after.”

Peugeot RCZ R (2013, £8,000)

“This car is all about the allure of rarity. Regular RCZs are not an uncommon sight on UK roads. But this ‘R’ version is much more elusive, and also offers an excellent drive. A 1.6 litre engine from the 206 GTi hatchback is tuned to produce power of 266 bhp, while it also has a specific turbo, lowered suspension and a Torsen limited-slip diff in the front axle. If you can find one, get it while you can.”

MG ZT V8 (2006, £9,000)

“When MG took the staid Rover 75 and plonked a whopping great 4.6 litre V8 engine in it while also making it rear-wheel drive, it became an instant classic. There are, however, just two dozen examples left on UK roads so if you see one, snap it up.”

Volvo V70R AWD (1999, £8,000)

“Another wolf in sheep’s clothing, the V70R might look like just another sensible load lugger from Volvo, but it’s actually packing power of 265 bhp as well as all the practicality you could even need. Four-wheel-drive also adds to the joy of owning one.”

Volkswagen Golf GTI 1.8T (2003, £4,500)

“Most lists of motoring greatness includes a VW Golf GTI - and so does ours. In terms of the older, more affordable models, it’s the 1.8 T incarnations from the early 2000s that bargain hunters are scouring the internet for. That’s because the turbocharged engine has a reputation for reliability as well as providing decent performance.”

Toyota Celica GT-Four (1995, £7,500)

“The much-loved Celica was dropped from the Toyota line-up back in 2006 as it made way for newer models. And while some incarnations of the Celica are relatively inoffensive, the GT-Four stuck two fingers up to convention and went the whole hog. An enormous rear spoiler and huge bonnet scoop make it utterly unmistakable.”

Abarth 500 (2010, £5,500)

“Plucky little city cars don’t need to be boring - and the energetic Abarth 500 proves just that. The current incarnation of this model is the more powerful Abarth 595, but there’s still a lot of love for the earlier ‘500’ versions, coming as they do with in-your-face bodywork and an enthusiastic 1.4 litre, 137 PS petrol engine.”

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David Hughes

Friday, 17/05/2024