Taxidermy fighting rabbits, a VHS camcorder and a 50p Cadbury’s easter egg mug - just some of the things we’ve picked up at various car boot sales over the years. The same car boot sales that are said to have began their journey in the heart of Stockport back in the late 1970s. What a revelation.
Apparently, Father Harry Clarke, a Catholic Priest from Stockport launched the UK’s very first car boot sale in the town as a charity fundraiser after he’d seen similar ‘trunk sales’ whilst holidaying in Canada.
From that, the UK saw a huge surge in local car boot sales where one person's trash became another's treasure and people were drowning in £1 records, their Nan’s ancient brooches and endless amounts of once sought after Happy Meal toys.
Despite no official sources, the legend that surrounds Father Harry Clarke has grown along with the rise of the car boot sale that, at this moment in time, seems more important than ever. As people struggle with the rising cost of living, the car boot sale has become a haven for affordable DIY and a way for people to earn some extra money.
Known and loved UK wide, it’s a great way to clear out any unwanted trash, alongside treating yourself to some wanted trash - a never-ending cycle, really. Manchester is brimming with some brilliant car boot sales, too, so we’ve put together a list of some of our favourites below where you’re bound to find all things weird and wonderful.
Hosted every single Saturday just off Liverpool Road in Eccles, the City Airport car boot sale is a firm favourite with sellers and buyers alike. For just £1, visitors are welcomed into a world of wonder, complete with vintage homewares, pre loved clothing and a plethora of unwanted music, films and video games - meaning that no one ever leaves empty handed! If you’re looking to sell it’ll cost you £12 in a car and £16 in a van.
Every Saturday from 9am.
Rummage in the Range
Whalley Range’s monthly car boot sale, Rummage in the Range is a traditional setup full of trinkets and vintage treasures ready to be rehomed. The event began during lockdown last year as a way to promote sustainable shopping and bring the community together for a good old-fashioned mooch! Life after lockdown has only highlighted the importance of socialising and the strength and importance of a connected community, something that Rummage in the Range aims to champion. There’s often street food and workshops to partake in, too.
The first Saturday of the month.
New Smithfield Market
Taking place almost every Sunday throughout the year, the new Smithfield Wholesale Market hosts a tremendous car booty full of new and old wares. Housed in a both a large covered and outdoor space, you’ll find clothing, craft essentials, second hand furniture and everything in between here, as well as a cosy cafe.
Every Sunday from 7am to 2pm, last customer entry is 1:30pm.
Open every Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday from 6am for the early risers, Chelford car boot sale in Knutsford is a hidden gem! With a massive range of traders, there’s something for everyone and the local, independent market that runs alongside the event is another reason to visit. Guests will find everything from fresh fruit and veg, to locally sourced meat, as well as a range of places to stop for refreshments.
Open every Sunday and BH Monday.
Burnage Rugby Club
Burnage’s car boot sale won’t return until next summer, as its opening dates run from May - August every year, but, once it does reopen it’s definitely one to make the trip to! With pitches starting at just £10, this is a great, cheap opportunity for sellers to have a major clear out, all while grabbing some bargains of their own.
Every Sunday, May - August.
A giant car boot sale held in Wilmslow, Holly Lane always has plenty of traders for an afternoon of rummaging. The expansive field in which the car boot sale sits makes for a lovely summer shopping spot, and it's often complete with a range of places to grab hot and cold drinks, food and refreshments.
Every Sunday, 6am - 1pm.
If it’s time for a de-clutter, there’s always room for you at Bowlee! The car boot sale and market is one of Manchester’s most popular spots, with a huge range of goods available for a cheap home makeover, or a wardrobe refresh, without the unwanted effort of scrolling through Vinted’s endless list of items. It’s now finished for 2022, but keep an eye on its socials for the dates of its triumphant 2023 return.
Every Sunday, April - August.
East Lancs Car Boot
Held every Sunday (weather depending), East Lancs car boot takes over Morleys Hall in Tyldesley with a massive range of traders. With free parking and a popular burger stall on site, there’s plenty to see with endless amounts of stuff to spend an afternoon scouring through. One Google review actually stated that this car booty has ‘too many’ stalls, but we’re struggling to see how this could be a bad thing?!
Every Sunday from 6.30am.
Oldham Rugby Union
It’s a well-known fact that bargain hunters have, over the years, regularly descend on Oldham Rugby Union’s car boot sale. Lovingly and rightfully restored in 2021 after a short hiatus, the event has always had a big community focus with hundreds of preloved items waiting to be rehomed and nurtured once again! The next event will take place this Sunday.
Every Sunday from 6am.
Bolton Car Boot
With around 300 sellers and over 1,000 buyers regularly hitting up Bolton car boot sale, you know this one’s a biggy. It’s complete with family entertainment, 5-star food, retro sweet stalls and a meat auction, as well as an excellent selection of stalls to grab yourself some well-deserved gems.