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Used Car Prices UK: The Used Car Price Index by heycar

Sarah Tooze

Written by

Sarah Tooze

Used cars for sale

Used car prices remained strong in July 2022 as the global semiconductor shortage continued to cause widespread disruption to the supply of new vehicles in the UK. 

According to our Used Car Price Index, the average asking price of a three-year-old car was 6.67% higher than it was in July 2021.

It's a similar story with older used cars with the average asking price of a five-year-old car being £15,946.65 in July, which is 14.51% higher than it was in July 2021 but 11.53% lower than it was at the start of 2022.

Older petrol cars have seen some of the largest year-on-year increases with the average asking price of a five-year-old petrol car in July being £14,437.96 while the average diesel was £17,431.72, which represents a respective year-on-year increase of 15.92% and 12.94%. 

There are signs that the market may be softening with prices falling in 2022. For example, the average asking price of a three-year-old car was £19,899.50 in July, a figure that's 0.59% lower than the month before and 8.20% down on January.   

Our Used Car Index takes a monthly look at the latest trends that are affecting the second-hand car market. From prices to long-term valuation trends, this is your one-stop-shop for the latest car price statistics, data and facts. Looking for general electric sales statistics?

Key used car price trends and figures

  • 7,530,956 used cars were sold in the UK in 2021, a figure that's 11.5% higher than 2020 but 5.5% down on the five-year pre-pandemic average.
  • The Ford Fiesta was the UK's most popular used car in 2021, with 326,436 sales. The Vauxhall Corsa was second (262,448) followed by the Ford Focus with 251,265 sales.
  • The south east of England is the UK's number one region for used car sales with 1,075,627 transactions, followed by the north west (812,540) and the west midlands with 744,369 sales. 
  • The average asking price of a three-year-old car in the UK increased by 37.7% in 2021, with those at 50,000 - 59,999 miles seeing one of the most significant price gains at 41.3%.
  • The asking price of a three-year-old petrol car increased by 35.3% in 2021 while the average price of a diesel was up 42.8%. 
  • In 2021, the average asking price of a five-year-old car increased by 46.7%. Models with 20,000 - 29,999 miles experienced a value uptick of 56.6%.
  • The average asking price of a five-year-old diesel increased by 42% in 2021 while a similar-aged petrol car climbed by 49.4%. 
  • The UK's most popular used car colour in 2021 was black, with 1,625,735 vehicles sold in this colour. Silver was the second most popular colour (1,284,498 sales) while blue was third with 1,254,938 transactions.   

(Source: heycar, SMMT)

Why are used car prices so high?

High used car prices are being driven by a shortage of new vehicles. This has been created by a global shortage of semiconductors, used to power the infotainment systems, computers and digital displays that are found in the latest new cars. 

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, car manufacturers sourced semiconductors from third-party suppliers. Many of these manufacturing plants closed as part of a global lockdown to halt the spread of Covid-19, resulting in a huge backlog of semiconductor orders and long waiting times for new cars. 

New car delays have resulted in fewer used vehicles entering the market, as people on PCP finance and leasing agreements hold onto their cars for longer. This means there are not enough used cars in the market to meet demand, which has resulted in prices hitting record levels.

When will used car prices drop?

There are signs that the used car market is already cooling off. New car delays are beginning to ease as manufacturers tackle the semiconductor shortage by sourcing their own parts and building dedicated plants for the required components. New car supply is expected to return to some form of normality in 2023.

The average asking price of a three-year-old car fell by 0.59% in July compared to the month before. The average value for a three-year-old cars was also 8.20% lower than January. 

Values for older cars are also falling, with the average asking price of a five-year-old vehicle in July being 1.6% lower than June and 11.53% lower than it was at the start of 2022. 

How much is my car worth?

The value of your car will depend on its age, condition and spec. You can get an instant and free price with our Value My Car tool. It's easy to use; all you need to do is enter your car’s registration number to get an instant price. 

You can also get a basic understanding of your car's value by looking at adverts for similar vehicles for sale. This will give you a rough idea of its lowest and highest price point, with the best condition cars commanding the highest prices. 

Used car prices and statistics

Petrol used car prices

Latest price data for petrol cars (based on a vehicle that's three years old)

Month

    • January
    • February
    • March
    • April
    • May
    • June
    • July
    • August
    • September
    • October
    • November
    • December

Average price

    • £19,357.08
    • £19,621.12
    • £19,199.33
    • £18,896.83
    • £18,319.10
    • £17,789.97
    • £17,673.42
    • TBC
    • TBC
    • TBC
    • TBC
    • TBC

Month-on-month percentage change

    • 1.73%
    • 1.36%
    • -2.15%
    • -1.58%
    • -3.06%
    • -2.89%
    • -0.66%
    • TBC
    • TBC
    • TBC
    • TBC
    • TBC

Diesel used car prices

Latest price data for diesel cars (based on a vehicle that's three years old)

Month

    • January
    • February
    • March
    • April
    • May
    • June
    • July
    • August
    • September
    • October
    • November
    • December

Average price

    • £25,849.69
    • £25,427.49
    • £25,289.93
    • £25,054.98
    • £24,801.95
    • £23,966.32
    • £24,845.87
    • TBC
    • TBC
    • TBC
    • TBC
    • TBC

Month-on-month change

    • -0.13%
    • -1.63%
    • -0.54%
    • -0.93%
    • -1.01%
    • -3.37%
    • 3.67%
    • TBC
    • TBC
    • TBC
    • TBC
    • TBC

Used car prices by mileage

Average values for a three-year-old vehicle by mileage in July

Mileage

    • Below 10,000
    • 10,000 - 19,999
    • 20,000 - 29,999
    • 30,000 - 39,999
    • 40,000 - 49,999
    • 50,000 - 59,999
    • 60,000 - 69,999
    • 70,000 - 79,999
    • 80,000 - 89,999
    • 90,000 - 99,999

Average price

    • £19,410.67
    • £19,495.51
    • £19,909.61
    • £20,441.45
    • £20,730.26
    • £20,499.45
    • £20,693.28
    • £20,289.57
    • £18,337.91
    • £14,939.97

Year-on-year percentage change

    • 2.25%
    • 12.91%
    • 3.91%
    • 3.20%
    • 7.06%
    • 8.39%
    • 19.07%
    • 30.86%
    • 9.00%
    • -27.74%

Used car prices by body type

Latest average values for SUVs, saloons and hatchbacks (based on a three-year-old vehicle)

Body type

    • Convertible
    • Coupe
    • Estate
    • Hatchback
    • MPV
    • Pick-up
    • Saloon
    • SUV

Price

    • £36,155.89
    • £43,823.67
    • £21,619.35
    • £14,770.46
    • £19,187.32
    • £25,556.98
    • £25,017.13
    • £22,496.14

Year-on-year percentage change

    • 20.29%
    • 29.22%
    • 5.44%
    • 16.29%
    • 38.26%
    • 5.02%
    • 15.20%
    • 0.17%

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