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Average Cost of Cars UK 2020

We analyzed the UK car market to find starting on-the-road (OTR) prices for the UK's most popular small cars, medium cars and smaller SUVs. These OTR prices reflect a delivery charge, number plates, road tax (which depends on the car’s emissions) and the first government registration fee.

How Much is a New Car?

The amount you'll spend on a new car depends on a lot of factors including the size of the car, spec and the brand, make and model. We looked at on-the-road prices for some of popular UK cars to see how prices vary by size. A new car costs in the range of £12,000 to £17,000 if you're going for a small car such as a VW Polo or Ford Fiesta, while a medium-sized car such as a Ford Focus or VW Golf will be priced in the region of £22,000 to £36,000. Popular SUVs in the UK such as the Ford Kuga and Nissan Qashqai cost around £23,000 to £28,000.

How Much is a New Car?
Small£12,000 - £17,000
Medium£22,000 - £36,000
SUV£23,000 - £28,000

Cost of the Average Small Car

In 2019, the OTR cost of the most popular small car models ranged from £11,695 to £17,620. We calculated this based on current prices for some of the UK's top-selling small cars. As of August 2019, the Ford Fiesta ST-Line Turbo sold for a starting OTR price of £17,620, a Vauxhall Corsa Griffin started from £11,695 and a VW Polo SE Evo for £15,920. The average OTR price of the top three best-selling UK small car models as of August 2019 was £15,078.

Starting OTR Prices of Popular Small Car Models
Vauxhall Corsa Griffin£11,695
VW Polo SE Evo£15,920
Ford Fiesta ST-Line Turbo£17,620
Average£15,078
chart showing the starting OTR prices for ford fiesta SE Evo, Vauxhall Corsa ST-Line Turbo and VW Polo Griffin
Starting OTR Prices of Popular Small Car Models

Looking more closely at pricing for the UK's most popular car, the Ford Fiesta, we see that starting OTR prices of the most basic, entry-level model has risen 60% over the past 6 years. As you can see below, the cheapest Ford Fiesta price jumped from £9,995 in 2013 to £15,995 in 2019. This increase is largely due to Ford fazing out models with fewer features (first the Style, then the Zetec) in favour of pricier models with more features.

Ford Fiesta Starting OTR Price
2013£9,995
2014£9,995
2015£10,145
2016£10,345
2017£12,715
2018£13,965
2019£15,995
chart showing the average UK OTR cost of small car ford fiesta from 2013-2019
Average Starting OTR Cost of Ford Fiesta 2013-2019

Cost of the Average Medium Car

A medium, C-segment car will cost you in the range of £21,800 to £31,490 in 2019. This estimate is based on current OTR prices for the UK's top selling medium car models for the past year: the Ford Focus ST-Line, the Volkswagen Golf R TSI 4MOTIO and the Vauxhall Astra SRI. Currently, the Vauxhall Astra is the cheapest and least popular of the three—the popular SRI starts from £21,765, but the entry-level Design model starts from just £18,905. The VW Golf starts from £20,995 for an S model, although the popular R TSI 4Motion model starts from £36,180. The ever-popular Ford Focus costs about £18,545 for an entry level Style model but the popular ST-Line starts from £22,145. The average price of these three popular models is £26,697.

Starting OTR Prices of Popular Medium-Sized Car Models
Vauxhall Astra SRI£21,765
Ford Focus ST-Line£22,145
Volkswagen Golf R TSI 4MOTION£36,180
Average£26,697
chart showing the starting OTR prices for Vauxhall Astra SRI, Ford Focus ST-Line and Volkswagen Golf R TSI 4MOTION
Starting OTR Prices of Popular Medium Car Models

Prices for arguably the most popular medium-sized car, the Ford Focus, have risen 21% since 2013. The entry-level Style model was priced from £18,545 in 2019, versus £16,495 in 2013, setting car owners back an extra £3,500.

Ford Focus Starting OTR Price
2013£16,495
2014£16,975
2015£17,595
2016£17,625
2018£17,930
2019£19,995
chart showing the average UK OTR cost of small car ford focus from 2013-2019
Average Starting OTR Cost of Ford Focus 2013-2019

Cost of the Average SUV

While a smaller SUV starts from £20k OTR, the most popular makes and models will set you back in the range of £22,800 to £28,500. This was based on our comparison of the Nissan Qashqai, the Kia Sportage and the Ford Kuga. The Nissan Qashqai, which has been a best-selling SUV in the UK for years, is the most affordable with a starting cost around £19,995 in 2019, however the popular Acenta model starts from £22,900. The entry-level Ford Kuga is currently priced around £23,250, but the popular ST-Line model will set you back £28,525. Finally, Kia's Sportage starts from £20,670 this year, but the popular 2 ISG model starts from £22,770.

Starting OTR Prices of Popular SUVs
Kia Sportage 2 ISG£22,770
Nissan Qashqai Acenta£22,900
Ford Kuga ST-Line£28,525
Average£24,732
chart showing the starting OTR prices for Vauxhall Astra SRI, Ford Focus ST-Line and Volkswagen Golf R TSI 4MOTION
Starting OTR Prices of Popular Medium Car Models

The most popular SUV, the Nissan Qashqai, has steadily risen in price nearly each year since 2013. Car owners should expect to pay from £19,995 for an entry-level Acenta in 2019, which is £3,100 more than they did six years ago—a rise of 18%, which is less of an increase than many other popular cars.

Nissan Qashqai Starting OTR Price
2013£16,895
2014£17,995
2015£18,545
2016£18,545
2017£19,295
2018£19,595
2019£19,995
chart showing the average UK OTR cost of nissan qashqai from 2013-2019
Average Starting OTR Cost of Nissan Qashqai 2013-2019

Once you've bought a car, you will need to insure it. For information on finding the best insurance company for your needs, see our article on top car insurance companies.

Methodology

The NimbleFins team collected current pricing data from auto retailers' websites in August 2019. Historical data was gathered using the Wayback Machine to view snapshots of relevant auto retailers' websites from previous years or searches for older price lists. Prices reflected are for the most basic, or "standard," versions of the models offered, except where we mention prices for popular models (which are not entry level and therefore cost more).

The best-selling makes and models for each category were selected based on our research of the UK car market from data gathered from SMMT and Gov.uk.

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