Car boot sales in South England 2018

Feb 3rd

There have been quite a few changes in the car boot world in South England over the last couple of years with some boot sales closing, some declining and others going from strength to strength. So what can we look forward to in 2018?

Let’s look at the closures first. Bursledon was a massive car boot sale between Portsmouth and Southampton. It was known as a place where you’d never make a fortune but where you could sell a lot of low-priced stuff. I only did it once and found it was very slow on the haberdashery front at first, but it did eventually pick up. I did, however, pick up quite a few “freebies” (ie dumped stuff) including an old typewriter which I sold the next week at Brighton Marina. But now this massive car boot sale is no more as it has bought up for housing. Word has it that the traders have moved on to the car boot sale near Eastleigh.

Wimbledon is another car boot sale that never quite made it to these pages. I used to dread going there – it was one of those places where you had to get there at silly o’clock to join the queue, be let in, and then had to wait around for hours until it opened – but it was a place where you could sell rolls of fabric when the bottom had fallen out of that market. There was a midweek car boot on the Wednesday (the one I occasionally went to) and a weekend car boot/market. I’d see a lot of the Wednesday clearance van guys down at Ford the next day. But now it has gone, making way for the new stadium. I hear that some of the Wednesday traders have moved to Bordon.

I’ve never done Fontwell, Climping Beach, Tote Cafe (Friday) or Matcham’s (near Bournemouth) but all these have been and gone over the last year or so.

IMO, the Roundstone and Bordon are not what they were. The Roundstone is good for the first few weeks of its season and then declines – probably because it is all much of a muchness with some of the same traders there week in and week out and otherwise the same type of goods. But hey! it’s next to a pick-your-own and the next door cafe is rather sweet, so if you’re local or in the area why not go along and give it some support? Bordon used to be a good alternative to Hayling Island if it was forecast to be very windy at the latter, but last year I went there twice and on both occasions was disappointed by the lack of turn out of both buyers and sellers so decided not to waste the pitch fee. Shame – hope it picks up.

Ford is one of the few car boot sales that seems to be going from strength to strength. Being on hard standing, it runs throughout the year, though tends to be busiest during the summer months. Thursday is more of an “antiques” day with dealers and house clearance guys and the day when you might see the BBC crews filming. There are more buyers and sellers on a Saturday but the emphasis is less on antiques and more on general clear outs. Sunday is often the busiest day of the week, especially just before or after the general car boot season gets going/winds down. The relatively late start (queue starts moving at 8.30) and the low pitch fee (£6) plus the market with its fruit & veg stall and the meat van all contribute to its success.

What changes have you noticed in the car boot scene near you? Do let me know!


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