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Used car prices soar

Online marketplace reports the median listing price of second-hand vehicles has jumped from $9,500 to $16,000 in four years.
Posted on 23 March, 2023
Used car prices soar

Prices for second-hand cars have soared 68 per cent in the past four years, according to Trade Me, with no indications as to when the growth will start to ease.

Jayme Fuller, sales director at Trade Me Motors, told Stuff the median listing price for a second-hand car in February 2023 was $16,000, compared with just $9,500 in the same month of 2019. 

Last month’s figure was also up 23 per cent from February 2022 when the median price stood at $12,990. It was also seven per cent higher than $14,999 achieved in January 2023.

“Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the price for a second-hand car has been steadily increasing on Trade Me,” explains Fuller.

The figures come as consumers looking to replace cars written off in Auckland’s January floods or by Cyclone Gabrielle are reportedly facing stiff competition and rising prices.

Industry officials have previously said up to 10,000 cars may be written off because of the extreme weather events this year. This was putting pressure on the supply of used cars to replace those vehicles.

Stuff reports that since the start of February, 2,241 vehicles have been entered into the Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency written-off and damaged vehicles database, with more than 2,000 tagged with a “W” for water damage.

Most motorists are covered for an “agreed value” on their vehicles. This means insurers will pay up to the amount cars have been insured for, with policyholders having to make up any difference when buying a like-for-like replacement, or face purchasing a lower-value vehicle.

AA Insurance has tried to pay out claims quickly so customers can replace their lost vehicles before inflationary pressures from the weather events impact new and second-hand vehicle prices, reports Stuff.

The flooding and cyclone also appear to have disrupted used car sales on Trade Me. Last month, the number of second-hand vehicle listings on the site was down 13 per cent on the year prior, Fuller notes.

Views of listings fell 37 per cent over the same timeframe.