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Have Used Car Prices Peaked?

It amused me greatly to see in the papers recently that “used car prices are on the rise!”

Everyone hates a know-it-all, so I am prepared to be unpopular when I remind you all that this was the topic of my email newsletter back in March (click here for a little reminder).

I am going to try my best not to bad-mouth journalists (critical, as I am very happily married to one, and want to remain so!); however, I am sorry to say that they have got it wrong again!

Over the last 6 weeks or so, I have seen the actual sale prices of used cars fall a little.


With larger and more expensive cars, the dealers are suddenly much more willing to negotiate. This means that the prices we have been paying for these cars have dropped a fair amount.

Take our Bargain of the Week: we managed to get the dealer to drop £2,000 from their already reasonable asking price, and they were not the only dealer offering similar sized discounts. Yet when we bought the same model car in August, we had big problems getting much more than £500 off the price.


Well, on more ‘normal’ cars, I am still having problems negotiating sizable discounts. This is because a lot of dealers have slashed their advertised prices in order to shift some stock.

We were looking for a nearly-new Ford Mondeo last week. With one of the cars we enquired about, the dealer simply refused to budge 1p on the asking price as he already had it priced at the cheapest he could go. However, with no money off, it was the best deal in the UK and so we just had to buy it!

And why is this happening? Quite simply, after months of very strong used car sales, customer interest has dropped off a little.

Regretfully, not even I can predict whether this is the start of a trend for things to slowly get better, or if it is just a blip. But if you are unsure as to whether to buy now, or to wait a little while, remember that December is traditionally the best time of year to buy a car… however, it won’t be as good as last year when dealers were just giving cars away!

Filling you up with ‘super unleaded’ advice,

Ashley Winston
(Founder & Owner)

At Palmdale we specialise in taking all the hassle out of the car buying process:


  • YOU tell us exactly what car you want
  • WE search for every available car in the UK that meets your description
  • WE negotiate with the seller
  • WE make sure that the car is perfect
  • WE collect the car and bring it to your door
  • YOU enjoy your new wheels for many years to come

These newsletters are our attempt to teach you everything we know about car buying; however, if you would like us to find and buy your next car for you, all you have to do is ask!