How much have car prices gone up in a decade?


If you've been sitting around moaning about how cars are so much more expensive now than they were compared to the good old days... well let me tell you something... you're totally right! Moneybarn has done the research to prove it. The data indicates that not only have prices increased, but in some cases by as much as 124%.

But stop-the-press, as a handful of cars have actually gotten cheaper over the years! We’ll tell you which ones below.

In addition to analysing a 10-year period from 2012 to the present, Moneybarn also looked at how prices have increased over the last 12 months and even studied price increases for electric cars over the last three years.

How much have car prices increased since 2012?

Volkswagen Golf Volkswagen Golf

A typical Volkswagen Golf that was priced at £16,425 in 2012 (about 76.4% of a median salary at that time) but would be £25,340 today. That's pretty much a year’s salary at 97.6% of an average salary, and an increase of 54.28% overall.

But that will seem insignificant as we move further up the list. You could buy a Ford Focus for £13,995 in 2012 (65% of your salary), but today you'd need 88.4% as prices are 64.09% higher.

Nissan Micra Nissan Micra

A Nissan Micra is up by 71.13% rising from £9750 to £16,685. A Honda Jazz rose 76.13% to over £20k from just under £12k. While Volvo's big family SUV, the XC90 increased a fraction more rising to £61,990 from £35,175. Today that's nearly 240% of a median salary.

Ford Fiesta Ford Fiesta

Even a humble Ford Fiesta (Britain's best-seller for most of those last 10 years) increased from just under £10k to nearly £18k and up 82.8%, while another big seller, the Astra increased 87.11% from £13k to over £24k.

At the top of this pile was the Renault Zoe, an electric car, that has gone from £13,650 to £30,495, that's 63.5% to 117.4% of median salary and a staggering rise of 124%.

Electric Car Price Rises in 3 years

Renault Zoe Renault Zoe

In fact, the Renault Zoe has jumped 39.12% in just the last THREE years up from £21,920 in 2019. Perhaps unsurprisingly on a list featuring electric cars exclusively, the next three places were taken up by Teslas. The Model S was up 32.48%, the Model X rose by 25.14% and the Model S by 20.87%.

Tesla Tesla

Interestingly, compared to average salaries, it was a Tesla that took the highest percentage of a median salary with the Model S today costing a shocking 365.8% of a typical annual income.

Meanwhile the Jaguar I-Pace only had a modest rise in the three years of just 1.74%, while some cars actually became less expensive, such as the BMW i3 (down 4.37%) and the Hyundai Kona Electric down an astonishing 17.52%.

So not ALL cars have gotten more expensive over the years after all!

Have Prices Risen in the Last Year?

Thinking closer to the present day, how do car prices compare to just 12 months ago?

Vauxhall Astra Vauxhall Astra

The greatest increase registered was 26.74% for the Vauxhall Astra which saw its list price rise by nearly £6000 from £19,185 to £25,315.

We haven't mentioned many sports cars so far, but the Porsche Cayman was up 20.5% to £54,500 an increase of around £9000. Meanwhile the Audi A4 was up 20% and the Nissan Micra is close behind at 19.18%.

Honda CR-V Honda CR-V

And how about that relentlessly rising Renault Zoe? UP nearly 11% by £3000.

Did anything on this list get cheaper compared to last year? Amazingly, yes. The hugely popular Honda CR-V saw its price drop by 4.64% from just over £33k to £31,555.

Other Motoring Costs also up

Bringing further pain to our woes when it comes to the cost-of-living crisis, the research also confirms that other motoring costs have also increased significantly in the last ten years, not least fuel! Although with the fast-fluctuating pace of petrol pricing, this data was clearly already both out-of-date and optimistic.

It states the typical price of a litre of unleaded as £1.42 (I know, just imagine that!) compared to '£1.62' today. Which we all know to be wrong, as the average UK price at the time of writing this is £1.87 - a 45 pence jump!

It's a similar story with diesel. £1.48 in 2012 and quoted as £1.76 today while in actuality it's £1.96.

According to a new report by CarGurus, Britain’s motorists have actually spent £1.13billion extra on petrol and diesel in the last 12 months due to the higher cost of fuel!

Don't laugh too hard if you drive electric, that too has gone up. It's stated as being an average of 14p per kwh in 2012, but up to 22p today. Although once again, that's conservative compared to the rapidly changing reality, as the most recent average prices are closer to 28p per kwh.

Road tax too has gone up, dramatically in some cases. At the top end, a diesel car putting out 255g/km is £1550 more expensive to tax today than in 2012. Meanwhile a petrol car putting out over 255g/km sees its road tax fee rise from £1030 to £2355 per year.

The best way to mitigate against some of these rises is to run your existing car for longer and we can help you with that – check out the Protect, Maintain and Repair sections of this website.

A Closing Thought

If trends continue on their current trajectory, MotorEasy products can provide a great way to future proof your car against inflation.

For example, a two or three year service plan is both cheaper than purchasing individual services and is also costed on today's market rates, rather than inflated levels further down the line.

Similarly, a MotorEasy warranty will protect you for up to three years against the cost of unexpected repairs. Given workshop labour rates and the price of parts are also feeling the inflationary pinch, buying a warranty costed on today's rates, could prove a wise investment compared to shelling out at unpredicatble 2024 or 2025 levels.

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