Sky-high car prices are finally falling – because no one can afford to drive

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The price of a second-hand car has now fallen from record highs after the spiralling cost of fuel hit driver demand. 

Prices for used cars fell 2.5pc in June, according to the Office for National Statistics, even as overall inflation reached a 40-year high of 9.4pc. 

Yet the average price of a used car is still £17,298 – up from £12,798 in 2019, according to Auto Trader, the online car dealer

The second-hand car market boomed in 2020, when sales of new vehicles faltered as the pandemic forced showrooms to close and a semiconductor shortage rocked the motor industry. Fear of public transport during the height of the pandemic also drove used car prices higher. 

But James Fairclough, of the comparison website AA Cars, warned that many consumers were now avoiding big-ticket purchases as the cost of living crisis spiralled further out of control. 

“People are being much more cautious about how they spend their money,” he said. “Many people who were on the fence about buying a car are waiting to see how their finances and the economy look in a few months’ time instead.” 

The cost of petrol reached a record high of 191.53p a litre at the start of this month, while diesel hit 199.07p a litre. 

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