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Revealed: The used cars falling in price and those on the rise

Paloma Kubiak
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Paloma Kubiak

The price tags of the most popular used cars has fallen by up to 10% in the past year, but some models continue to see their sale price increase, AA data reveals.

The average price of Britain’s 20 most searched-for motors on the AA Cars website rose by 0.3% in the first three months of this year, compared to Q1 2022.

According to AA Cars data, the average price tag of a second-hand car reached £16,818 between January and March this year, up from £16,760 last year.

With the price remaining virtually unchanged over the past year, AA Cars said this will be a “relief” to drivers as second-hand car prices have soared in recent times.

The UK’s most popular cars

The price of the most popular car – the Ford Fiesta – has actually fallen 2.9%, from £11,551 in Q1 2022 to £11,222.

Meanwhile, the Ford Focus recorded the biggest average fall in price in percentage terms – £1,387 – taking its average price from £14,233 in Q1 2022 to £12,846 in the three months to March 2023.

In third place in terms of popularity, the Volkswagon Polo recorded a 0.4% fall to £13,126, while the other notable price drop came for the Ford Kuga (5.9%), taking its average price from £19,538 to £18,389.

On the flip side, the Fiat 500 actually saw its price tag rise 8.3% from £9,102 to £9,854, while the Audi A1 recorded a 6.6% increase from £16,215 to £17,291.

AA Cars noted that the Audi A3 – the 12th most popular car on the site – saw the fastest price growth out of the top 20 listed. The average price rose 11.3% over the year to £21,581 in Q1 2023, up from £19,368 a year earlier.

Drivers try to get the maximum value for money

Mark Oakley, director of AA Cars, said: “The slow price growth seen across the UK’s most popular cars makes this a good time for drivers to begin their search for a new vehicle. Even enduring favourites like the Ford Fiesta and Focus have both seen prices fall over the last year.

“Drivers are clearly trying to get maximum value for their money at the moment, with city cars like the Fiat 500 proving particularly attractive thanks to their low running costs.

“Cars with lower insurance premiums, such as the Toyota Yaris, are also rising in popularity and price.

“The wide variety of price changes across the secondhand car market underscores the importance of doing your research online and shopping around when buying a used car. Once you’ve identified the models you like, you may find better deals for the same vehicle just a few miles down the road in neighbouring towns or cities.”

Related: Buying a used car? 10 checks that could save you thousands