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What Is Going On In The Used Car Market

With 5 year old cars selling for as much as new cars and slightly used Landcruiser's and Patrol's going for 2-3x what they were a year ago, the car market is getting kind of insane. As mechanics, most of us never thought that the used car market would get this bad so, what is going on?

In recent times, we've seen a lot of just sold cars in fairly questionable shape. From oil leaks and blown bulbs all the way through to chassis rust, cars that were destined for the scrap heap last year are being sold as pristine examples this year. With 25 year old Nissan sports cars going for as much as new Ferrari's, it begins to show why so many cars are staying on the road.

It seems that the problem here is actually a lot of competing factors as well.

Not only is the availability of new cars drastically reduced due to delays in manufacturing and shipping but, with the lack of international travel and hit and miss cash flow due to Covid, it seems like people are buying whatever they can, as fast as they can.

Why do we think this is bad then? Well it's not just because the price of Nissan Skyline's went from approx. $70,000 to $400,000 in the last 5 years and we really want one.

As we (kind of) eluded to at the top, so many of the cars for sale currently seem to be trashed.

With so many people looking to buy a 4WD to travel in or something nice to drive around with their Covid savings, most of the good examples of cars are getting scooped up before they've been on the market for a day.

This means that, on top of the supply of new cars being down, many of the used cars people want are in short supply as well.

Unfortunately it seems as though some less scrupulous sellers have taken advantage of this hot market and are attempting to buy some very rough cars and sell them on with minimal fixing for top dollar with "roadworthy certificates and perfect logbooks".

This means that people looking for a budget friendly option are often presented with vehicles that are leaking heavily, have lots of mileage or have an inherent fault as their only options.

We've even seen some of these cars sold to people who did all the right things, from getting a roadworthy to even a pre-purchase inspection.

So how do you protect yourself as a buyer?

To be honest, we're not sure that it's truly possible any more. While there is always a brigade of honest sellers trying to pass on their families pride and joy to the next owner, the cars they sell move on very quickly and leave slim pickings behind.

We always recommend getting a pre-purchase inspection before buying a car but, it's a good idea to make sure it's with a mechanic you trust.


If you have any questions about this blog post, would like a second opinion from a mechanic or would like to find an honest mechanic in Brisbane, check out Kashy here.

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