The guidance on this site is based on our own analysis and is meant to help you identify options and narrow down your choices. We do not advise or tell you which product to buy; undertake your own due diligence before entering into any agreement. Read our full disclosure here.

Average Cost of Cars UK 2024

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.

Table of Contents

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?Starting Prices for Popular Cars
Small£19,000 - £25,000
Medium£26,000 - £28,000
SUV£26,000 - £32,000

Cost of the Average Small Car

In 2023, the OTR cost of the most popular small car models ranged from £19,235 to £24,940. We calculated this based on current prices for some of the UK's top-selling small cars. As of September 2023, the Ford Puma sold for a starting OTR price of £24,940, a Vauxhall Corsa started from £19,235 and a VW Polo Life for £20,070. The average starting OTR price of the top three best-selling UK small car models as of September 2023 was £21,415. This is around £6,000 more expensive than three years prior—by our calculations, prices have risen around 42% since 2020!

Starting OTR Prices of Popular Small Car Models
Vauxhall Corsa Design£19,235
VW Polo Life£20,070
Ford Puma£24,940
Average£21,415
chart showing the starting OTR prices for Ford Puma, Vauxhall Corsa Design and VW Polo Life
Starting OTR Prices of Popular Small Car Models

We know that the Ford Fiesta has recently been resigned to history (replaced by the Ford Puma), but as it was the UK's most popular car for years and years, we have a lot of price history through 2023, and it's really interesting to see how prices have changed over 10 years. Starting OTR prices of the most basic, entry-level model rose a whopping 94% over the past 10 years, essentially doubling the cost from £9,995 in 2013 to £19,350 in 2023. This increase was largely due to Ford phasing 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
2020£16,385
2021£16,385
2022£17,070
2023£19,350
chart showing the average UK OTR cost of small car ford fiesta from 2013-2023
Average Starting OTR Cost of Ford Fiesta 2013-2023

Cost of the Average Medium Car

A medium, C-segment car will cost you in the range of £26,585 to £28,490 in 2023, as a starting price for a low-end model. This estimate is based on current OTR prices for some of the UK's top selling medium car models over the past years: we looked at prices for the Ford Focus Titanium, the Volkswagen Golf 8 and the Vauxhall Astra Design.

Currently, the Volkswagen Golf 8 is the cheapest of the three, starting from £26,585. The Vauxhall Astra Design is a close second, starting from £26,610. The ever-popular Ford Focus costs about £28,490 for an entry level Titanium model but the popular ST-Line starts from £29,320. The average price of these three popular models is £27,228, up around £4k from 2020.

Starting OTR Prices of Popular Medium-Sized Car Models
Volkswagen Golf 8£26,585
Vauxhall Astra Design£26,610
Ford Focus Titanium£28,490
Average£27,228
chart showing the starting OTR prices for Vauxhall Astra Design, Ford Focus Titanium and Volkswagen Golf 8
Starting OTR Prices of Popular Medium Car Models

Prices for arguably the most popular medium-sized car, the Ford Focus, have risen 64% since 2013. The entry-level Style model was priced from £16,495 in 2013, with their current cheapest trim (Titanium) setting car owners back an extra £10,585 (the price increase from 2022 to 2023 represents a 15% increase by itself!)

Ford Focus Starting OTR Price
2013£16,495
2014£16,975
2015£17,595
2016£17,625
2018£17,930
2019£19,995
2020£22,210
2021£22,215
2022£23,500
2023£27,080
chart showing the average UK OTR cost of medium car ford focus from 2013-2023
Average Starting OTR Cost of Ford Focus 2013-2023

Cost of the Average SUV

While a smaller SUV starts from the mid-£20,000s OTR, the most popular makes and models will set you back in the range of £26,405 to £32,680. 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 £26,405 in 2023, however the popular N-Connecta model starts from £31,890. The entry-level Kia Sportage starts from £28,360, but the popular T-GDI starts from £32,560. Finally, the cheapest Ford Kuga is currently priced around £32,680, but the popular ST-Line model will set you back £34,480.

Starting OTR Prices of Popular SUVs
Nissan Qashqai Visia£26,405
Kia Sportage 2 ISG£28,360
Ford Kuga Titanium Edition£32,680
Average£29,148
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 £27,120 for an entry-level Qashaq in 2023, which is more than £10,000 more expensive than it was 10 years ago—a rise of over 60%, but less of an increase than some 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
2020£20,565
2021£23,985
2022£25,505
2023£27,120
chart showing the average UK OTR cost of nissan qashqai from 2013-2023
Average Starting OTR Cost of Nissan Qashqai 2013-2023

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.

Used Cars

How much does a used car usually cost?

According to data we gathered from AutoTrader, the median price of a used car is just over £16,000, which means that half of used cars cost less than £16,000 and half cost more than £16,000. We calculated this figure by analysing the distribution of pre-owned cars on Autotrader across different price bands, as you can see below. (We found 435,000 used cars for sale, and when the cars were ranked from most to least expensive, the cars in the middle cost around £16,000.)

We also include stats from back in 2020. Interestingly, but perhaps not surprisingly, we found there are fewer of the "cheap" cars and more "expensive" cars now compared to three years ago. This is consistent with the rise in used car prices.

Vehicle Cost RangeNumber of Vehicles Available (2020)Number of Vehicles Available (2023)
£0 - £2,50025,05216,746
£2,500 - £5,00043,74634,638
£5,000 - £10,000114,32978,227
£10,000 - £20,000163,216152,332
£20,000 - £30,00059,98279,933
£30,000 - £40,00023,47832,573
£40,000 - £50,0009,91716,364
£50,000 - £100,00013,40018,702
£100,000+2,8555,440

You can see this in the chart below. Notice how the chart has shifted from 2020 to 2023. Now, there are fewer cars in the "cheaper" price ranges, and more cars in the "expensive" price ranges.

Chart showing how used car prices have risen from 2020 to 2023

Which vehicles most commonly come onto the Used Car market?

The reasons a vehicle make or model can make it onto the Used Car market regularly aren't always as simple as there being a lot of them on the road. For example, car manufacturers like BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz often release "life-cycle updates" throughout the duration of a core model's life that make minor changes/quality of life improvement to the vehicle without changing the fundamentals of the cars—but if you wanted to have the most up-to-date model, as those fortunate enough to afford a luxury vehicle often do, then you'll want to trade in your old model, pay the extra and enjoy the new upgrades.

Also, many vehicles come onto the used car market after being used in company car fleets or by rent-a-car businesses. Again, higher-end brands like BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz often prove popular for these schemes, as an enticing benefit for current and potential future employees. Once the vehicles go over a certain age or mileage, they often find their way into dealerships or websites like AutoTrader as used.

Car ManufacturerNumber of Vehicles Available (2023)
Audi32,722
BMW39,995
Citroen9,383
Fiat7,046
Ford40,833
Honda7,792
Jaguar7,061
Land Rover20,556
Mazda7,193
Mercedes-Benz30,273
MINI11,808
Nissan17,186
Peugeot14,285
Renault9,518
SKODA11,755
Toyota17,550
Vauxhall26,581
Volkswagen35,755
chart showing the number of used vehicles available by make on autotrader
Number of Used Models available for sale

Methodology

The NimbleFins team updated this article with current pricing data from auto retailers' websites in September 2023. Historical data was gathered using previously-gathered data from prior updates to this article, the Wayback Machine to view snapshots of relevant auto retailers' websites from previous years and searches for older price lists, so they are accurate to the best of our knowledge. Prices reflect 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.

Used vehicle information was gathered from AutoTrader.

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The guidance on this site is based on our own analysis and is meant to help you identify options and narrow down your choices. We do not advise or tell you which product to buy; undertake your own due diligence before entering into any agreement. Read our full disclosure here.

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