Used car prices are at a record high, with the average price of a second-hand car hitting £12,967 in November.

The data from Auto Trader follows the news that the value of used cars financed by dealers went up by 14 percent, with their volume up by eight percent.

Private car seller and buyer shake hands

Auto Trader's data was compiled from its Retail Price Index combines and analyses data from around half a million trade used car listings each day.

The record used car price high was reflected across all fuel types, with the average price of a used petrol vehicle last month being £11,202, £14,630 for diesels, £20,828 for alternatively fuelled vehicles, and £19,978 for pure electric vehicles.

Used car sales process

Despite the record highs, growth across the board has been steadily slowing down. The average increase of used car prices in November was just four percent, which was the lowest increase since August 2017. Year-on-year growth has slowed each month since it peaked at seven percent in June earlier this year.

"At circa 35 percent, finance currently accounts for a relatively small proportion of purchases in the used car market," said Karolina Edwards-Smajda, Auto Trader’s Director of Commercial Products. "However, as the latest industry results highlight, as the average cost of used cars increase, the more vital finance is becoming in the second-hand buying journey."

Car salesman shakes hand and gives car keys to woman car buyer

"With the average three-year new car cycle fuelling the market, finance enables consumers to buy younger, more desirable and crucially, more expensive second-hand cars."

"Making the financing of used cars more competitive, accessible and easier to understand for buyers will be a crucial step in taking advantage of this opportunity," she added. "In an industry where there is increasing competition and complexity, it’s vital that retailers give themselves the very best chance of success; getting finance right will unquestionably be key to unlocking growth in the used car market in 2019."


November 2016

November 2017

November 2018

Year-on-Year growth

Used car (total)




















AFV (collective for all AFVs)





Potential used car buyer inspecting door

Diesel retains title for most popular fuel type on Auto Trader, with 46 percent of used car buys being diesel – down from 54 percent a year ago. Used petrol sales increased in November, compared to last year – at 46 percent up from 41 percent. Used electric sales have almost doubled, increasing from four percent to seven percent. Alternative fuel sales have remained at a constant one percent.