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03 February 23 Press releases

Demand for older cars soars as used car prices rise again


Growing demand for older cars sends prices skywards

The price of decade-old cars is surging to new record levels as drivers hunt for cheaper deals, Auto Trader figures show.

The online marketplace’s latest Retail Price Index – based on 900,000 daily prices from across the whole automotive retail market- shows the cost of cars aged 10-15 years old increased 0.5% between December and January to a record £6,325 - and rose a whopping 10.9% year on year. This is way above the average 2.7% increase recorded across other price brackets.

Cars in the 10-15 year-old age bracket also took just 35 days to sell over the month, quicker than the average 40 days for used cars overall, and almost two weeks faster than the 47 days taken for 1-3 year old cars to leave the forecourts. The most in demand older models in that age bracket include the Vauxhall Corsa, BMW 3 Series, and Ford Fiesta, which saw average YoY prices increase as much as 18.2%, 17.3%, and 15.5% respectively. However, the model within that age bracket that saw the largest price growth was the Mercedes-Benz A Class, which saw average YoY prices rocket 44.5%.  

The surge in demand for older vehicles – and their price - comes in the wake of a growing cost of living crisis and the impact of rail and bus strikes shaking confidence in public transport. The disruption of Covid – resulting in more than 2 million “missing” vehicles – has also added to the price pressure by reducing the pool of stock.

 The average retail price of a used car was £18,119 in January, marking a 2.7% year-on-year (YoY) increase on a like-for-like basis, and the 34th month of consecutive price growth – highlighting the robust state of the market.

But used EV retail values recorded the fifth consecutive MoM decline in January, dropping -2.1% from December to £36,179 in contrast to cheaper petrol and diesel counterparts. The average values of a used petrol (£16,557) and diesel (£16,650) car increased 0.6% and 0.4% respectively between December and January. Petrol was up 3.4% YoY and diesel was up 2.5%.



The demand for older cars is the eye-catching feature of a really strong market, despite the UK’s wider current economic difficulties. Demand for used cars remains robust, which along with a shortage of stock, is keeping used prices high.

Key spokesperson

Richard Walker

Data & Insight Director

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