There has never been a better time to sell a used car in Australia, with prices skyrocketing for the fifth consecutive month in September to sit almost 30 per cent higher than they were at the same time last year.
According to the latest data from global economic research company Moody's Analytics, wholesale prices for used cars last month increased by another 3.8 per cent on August figures – or precisely 29.9 per cent higher than 2019 prices.
"All else being equal, now is the best time to be selling a used car, truck, SUV or ute on record," Moody's declared in its latest report issued on October 20.
But for those looking to sell, there's a catch – most of that growth was driven by larger vehicles, with prices of utes and SUVs surging by an impressive 8.7 per cent, while prices of passenger vehicles slowed, only recording a modest rise of 2.1 per cent.
This preference for larger cars over traditional passenger cars has been "gaining rapidly over the past six years", Moody's said, and is unrelated to the coronavirus pandemic, meaning used SUVs and utes are undoubtedly more in demand than their smaller passenger-car counterparts.
According to average transaction data, the average price of a Ford Ranger on the used car market has risen despite the average kilometres on used Ranger models remaining consistent.
So why the continual climbs? Moody's explains it's all due to dwindling new-car sales, which have dropped by more than 20 per cent from 2019 levels.
As such, a lack of both trade-ins and older cars filtering through to the used market has resulted in a scarcity of supply, pushing prices up to record levels.
It's worth noting, however, that although used car prices continue to rise, the rate of that rise is slowing, with September's increase marking the slowest climb since prices began to skyrocket in May. In other words, the trend is starting to taper off.
"Our forecast remains for growth to slow and finally subside as markets readjust towards the end of the calendar year," Moody's said.
"At this point, the unprecedented and unexpected ride that used-vehicle prices have taken over the past five months will come to an end."