Used car prices rise by up to 57 per cent

Published 22 October 2021

The UK’s most popular used cars have seen average prices rise by as much as 57 per cent since 2019, according to new research by AA Cars.

A shortage of new cars caused by the semiconductor shortage has led many drivers to buy used rather than new this year, pushing up used car prices.

Drivers have also reportedly been buying used cars in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, with some preferring to drive rather than take public transport.

The motoring group analysed the 30 most searched for cars on its platform, comparing prices of three, four and five year-old models in August 2019 and August 2021.

It found that a three year-old Mini Hatch now costs 57 per cent more than a model of the same age cost in 2019 (£15,367 versus £9,811). The Ford Transit and Citron C3 also experienced similar increases (56 per cent and 54 per cent, respectively). 

Highest average price rises between 2019 and 2021 (for a three-year-old car)

Car Price rise (per cent)

Mini Hatch


Ford Transit


Citroen C3


Mercedes E Class


Audi A3


The most popular car, the Ford Fiesta, saw the average of three to five year old models jump by nearly a third (31 per cent) to £9,770 between 2019 and 2021.

Average price rises for most popular models between 2019 and 2021 

Popularity ranking


Price rise 2019-2021(per cent)

Average 2019 price

Average 2021 price 


 Ford Fiesta  31.18 £7,448 £9,770


 Ford Focus  43.11 £8,919 £12,764


 Volkswagen Polo  34.47 £8,208 £11,037


 Nissan Qashqai 33.10 £10,935 £14,554


 Volkswagen Golf 31.82 £13,074 £17,234


Audi A1 29.17 £10,396



Audi A3 46.09 £12,451 £18,190


Fiat 500 27.79 £6,444 £8,235


Mercedes-Benz A Class 27.71 £13,566 £17,325


Ford Kuga 37.85 £11,544 £15,913

Cars appreciating with age 

Demand for some models is so strong that they are even appreciating with age.

AA Cars said that a five year-old MINI currently costs 15 per cent more than a three year-old car did in 2019, meaning it has gained in value despite getting two years older. 

Toyota Aygo owners who bought a three-year-old model in 2019 could find their car is now worth 11 per cent more, while Volkswagen Golf owners could make a similar profit of 9.5 per cent.

James Fairclough, CEO of AA Cars, said: “With the exception of houses and some classic cars, things rarely go up in value as they age.

“Yet price growth in the used car market is so strong that some in-demand models are appreciating even as they sit on the driveway. 

“But even though average prices have risen sharply over the past two years, it is still possible to get a good deal on the second-hand market. 

“We advise anyone who is in the market for a used car to shop around widely and, when they have narrowed their search, to ask the dealer questions about the specific vehicle they are interested in. 

“If they find out it has been sitting around on a forecourt for a while, the dealer may be more inclined to offer a price reduction.

“We always recommend that an independent pre-sale vehicle inspection takes place on any second-hand car before any money changes hands, to ensure drivers can have peace of mind that there are no hidden faults which will cost them money down the line.” 



gavsmit    on 29 October 2021

Nothing to do with new car prices going bonkers in recent times then?

Great thing buying a car on finance - for the car makers / dealers that is. It's allowed them to hide huge car price inflation behind monthly payments.

I had my eye on a certain make and spec of car - 6 months ago on Autotrader I found 2 year old ones for £13,000. That same make / spec for 2 year old versions are now all over £18,000.

Looks like I'll be keeping my current car for a lot longer.

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