Lam-boom-ghini! Even as UK car market faces slump, supercars more popular than ever

  • 40% more supercars on UK roads than 5 years ago, while the broader UK car market has declined by 9.3%*
  • 69% rise in Ferraris and 54% rise in Lamborghinis registered compared to 2013

There are 40% more supercars on UK roads than there were five years ago, according to research by car buying comparison site Slowing consumer spending and a declining car market haven’t stalled the rise of the supercar, as the numbers registered to drive on UK roads has increased by almost 8% (7.7%) in the past year alone.

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Electric car demand to surge: 25% of UK car buyers expect to buy an AFV by 2024

  • 26% of UK car buyers expect to be purchasing an electric or hybrid car within six years, compared to just 4.2% of new cars sold being AFVs in 2017
  • Green credentials are the most significant reason for those looking to move away from fossil fuels, with 45% citing electric being ‘better for the environment’ as the main driver

 London, 27th February 2018 – More than a quarter of UK car buyers expect to be purchasing an alternatively fuelled car by 2024, according to a nationwide survey conducted by car buying comparison website Motorway. polled 2,000 UK car owners, asking them about their next car purchase and views on electric cars. The survey revealed that of those planning to buy another car in the next six years, 26% expect to buy alternatively fuelled vehicle (an AFV), with 11% planning on electric and 15% going for a hybrid car.

AFVs made up just 4.2% of sales in 2017 according to new car registration figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT)*.

These new figures from therefore suggest a rapid increase in take-up of alternatively fuelled vehicles ahead.

Age groups looked at the car buying plans of motorists across different age groups. The data suggested differences in attitudes between older and younger car owners to electric and hybrid car ownership:

Future fuel type purchases by age group

13% of car owners aged 18-34 expect to buy an electric car next, compared to 10% of 35-54 year olds and 9% of respondents aged 55+.

Meanwhile, as the range of hybrid options has grown, older demographics had a particular fondness for hybrid fuel types with 19% of 55-plus year old respondents saying they would buy a hybrid next, compared to 13% of those aged 18-34.

Diesel vehicles continued their slide in popularity, with just over a quarter of respondents (26%) expecting to buy a diesel as their next car.

Reasons for buying electric

Of the respondents who said they expected to go electric in the next six years, 45% said it was because electric was better for the environment, showing that electric’s green credentials are the biggest driver. More than a third (34%) said they’re opting for an electric car because they’re cheaper to run, 28% said the more advanced technology attracted them and 18% said that a better driving experience was the main appeal.

Reasons for buying an electric car

Respondents who said they would stick with traditional fuel types for their next new car were asked why they were put off buying electric cars. More than half (52%) said that inadequate charging infrastructure, including not being able to charge a car at home, was stopping them from making the switch to electric.

Over a third (35%) said that electric cars were still too expensive compared to fossil-fuelled options, and more than a quarter (27%) said they did not know enough about electric cars and the technology to make a decision.

Reasons for not buying an electric car


Comparing male and female drivers, a slightly higher percentage of females (27%) than males (26%) expect their next car (within the next six years) to be an AFV. While 12% of women expect their next car to be fully-electric, compared to just 10% of male car owners.

Alex Buttle, director of car buying comparison website Motorway, comments:

“Our survey clearly shows that UK public are getting ready to make the leap to electric cars en masse and that take-up may be much more rapid than many expect.

“The soaring demand presents huge opportunities for the car industry, which is showing significant signs of stress while battling to roll out affordable AFVs fast enough. But it could also leave the Government with serious issues if it does not move fast enough to build the necessary charging and power infrastructure to handle the impact of electric cars**.

“Our data shows people do not know enough about their options when it comes to electric cars. If industry and Government are keen to accelerate this switchover to electric, then clearly more needs to be done to educate UK car buyers.

“With consumer confidence falling pre-Brexit and rising inflation eroding disposable income, many are worried electric cars are too expensive to own. In reality, studies have shown electric will be the cheapest of all fuel options to run in just a few years’ time^.

“Aside from current consumer sentiment, the raw economics of electric car ownership in a few years time can be expected to speed up the switch away from fossil fuel cars faster than many industry commentators ever expected.”

Diesel bounces back in 2018 – Prices of used diesel cars jump 2.4%

  • Prices for used diesel cars are up £322 (+2.4%) on average since start of 2018.
  • This comes after diesel prices dropped 5% through 2017
  • Equivalent petrol car prices fell 0.7% since the beginning of the year as the market re-balances
  • Nine out of ten major car brands saw diesel prices drop between Q1 2017 and Q1 2018, compared to half of petrol variants

The average price of a used diesel car has increased by 2.4% since the start of 2018. This puts an end to the downward spiral on diesel prices throughout 2017 when values tumbled on the back of constant negative news. The analysis from car buying comparison website also shows equivalent used petrol cars have fallen 0.7% since the start of this year. analysed valuations for more than 60,000 used diesel and petrol cars aged five years old or less, valued on its website between January 2017 and April 2018.

Monthly figures reveal the average price of a used diesel during April 2018 was £13,637, compared to £13,315 in December 2017 – a rise of 2.4%. The average used petrol car price in April 2018 was £9,477, down 0.7% on the average price in December 2017 of £9,543.

However, after the aggressive price falls last year, average diesel prices are still substantially lower than the same time last year, dropping from £14,339 in Q1 2017 to £13,640 in Q1 2018 – a difference of almost £700 or -4.9%. This compares with the average price of a used petrol car, which has risen from £8,916 to £9,754 (7.8%) during the same period, as diesel fears switched buying habits towards petrol variants.

The following table shows average quarterly prices of used diesel and petrol cars (only vehicles less than five years old) across 2017 and 2018:

Prices of diesel cars bounce in 2018
Prices of diesel cars bounce in 2018


Car makes also analysed diesel and petrol valuation data for individual car makes. The research revealed significant differences in how used cars for different brands have fared over the past 12 months.

Looking at the top 10 most popular makes valued on during 2017 and 2018, nine out of 10 saw a drop in the value of diesel variants between Q1 2017 and Q1 2018, compared to just half of petrol variants.

The average price of a used Vauxhall diesel car slumped by 13.4% over the past year, falling more than £1,000 from £8,098 in Q1 2017 to £7,009 in Q1 2018. The average price of a Volkswagen, still fighting to restore its reputation after the 2015 emissions scandal, was down more than £1,500 from £12,473 to £10,886 over the same period.

The average price of a used Ford diesel fell by 4.1% between Q1 2017 and Q1 2018, compared to the average price of petrol variants which rose by 12.9% over the past 12 months.

The following table shows average used diesel and petrol car values for popular makes of car, comparing Q1 2017 and Q1 2018:

Diesel and petrol prices in 2018
Diesel and petrol prices in 2018

Alex Buttle, director of car buying comparison website comments:

“A 2.4% rise in average values isn’t quite diesel’s ‘phoenix from the flames’ moment, but it is a positive step after a year of significant price falls. Having been demonised by the Government and ripped apart by the press, it seems diesel’s price slump has now reached the bottom and valuations are finally showing signs of resilience.

“Values were never going to fall forever, and buyers are now finding some incredible used diesel car deals at very attractive prices. More diesel buyers are being lured back into the second-hand car market and this is stabilising pricing.

“That said, diesel will remain the pariah fuel type until more is done to educate the public about cleaner Euro-6 diesel engines found in recent diesel models. These cars release vastly less nitrogen oxides than older variants and are actually cleaner than many petrol engines on some CO2 measurements.

“The least the Government can do is to help motorists by vouching for modern diesel engines over older variants and make it clear that not every diesel car on the market is the same. Until then, confusion will reign and diesel prices may suffer the brunt of this befuddlement.”

Car valuation reality revealed: Only 40% Of sellers receive as much as their online valuation

Investigation by Motorway reveals car buying sites often give inflated online valuations to attract customers. The company has released “TruePrice” technology to improve valuation accuracy

  • Motorway data suggest 60% of sellers received less than their online valuation on day of sale
  • Investigation shows buyers ‘chip down’ price when the car is inspected by an average of 6%
  • Motorway launches its TruePrice online tech to improve the accuracy of buyers’ online valuations

An in-depth investigation into online used car sales by has found that some instant car buying websites quote unrealistically high car valuations online to attract customers, but then offer significantly less on the actual day of sale.

This practice, known in the industry as ‘price chipping’, has become so commonplace that six out of ten car sellers received less than their original online valuation on the day of sale. Just 40% of sellers received the original valuation they were quoted.

The investigations revealed that prices were ‘chipped’ by 6% on average – that’s a huge £600 on a £10,000 vehicle.

To collate its figures, Motorway the UK’s leading car selling comparison website, analysed more than 4,000 completed sale transactions through instant online car buyers featured on its website, supplementing this data by surveying customers that sold to other car buyers that don’t feature.

Motorway compared the actual sale prices received for each car sold with its original online valuation. It found that while cars valued above £5,000 were chipped down by 6% on average, for those below £5,000, the average ‘chip down’ was as high as 11%.

To put this into context, a 6% chip down on a high-end car valued at £35,000 would mean a £2,000 reduction in the price at the point of sale. On a car valued at £4,550, an 11% reduction would see the valuation reduced by £500 on inspection.

But Motorway’s data showed that not all car buying services take the same approach. Some do offer realistic valuations online, which rarely change by much at all on the day of sale, while others have an average chip down rate of up to 14%.

Why are prices reduced on the day of sale?

Professional car buyers have to make reasonable assumptions on the condition and history of a vehicle in order to generate an instant valuation online, and this is notoriously difficult. If a buyer assumes that a car being valued is in ‘fair-to-good’ condition, they should expect the car to have some wear and tear consistent with its age and mileage, and present a valuation that reflects this.

While some changes to online prices are inevitable, some buyers assume all used cars valued are in perfect showroom condition despite their age – and very few are. This leads to significant reductions for typical vehicles when light scratches, dents and other normal wear-and-tear is revealed on the day of sale.

Motorway found that sales were much less likely to fall through when buyers priced realistically.

Solving the problem – TruePrice

Launched in 2017, is a price comparison website enabling car sellers to compare offers from online car buying websites in order to find their best price. Having completed thousands of successful car sales to its panel of online buyers, Motorway today unveils its own technology called TruePrice that enables sellers to compare actual likely sale prices for their car, as well as the online offers provided by buyers.

motorway trueprice
Motorway’s TruePrice technology accurately predicts the money you will receive for your car

With TruePrice, Motorway is working to deliver more accurate online valuations and a greater level of price confidence for consumers. It’s an industry first in a sector crying out for transparency.

How does TruePrice work?

Motorway proprietary TruePrice technology uses ‘guide price’ instant valuations from online buyers, and analyses historical sale prices from thousands of similar completed sales in order to calculate what customers are statistically likely to receive for their car in ‘fair-to-good’ condition.

Comparing TruePrice offers, car owners can make a more informed selling decision in seconds.

motorway trueprice price calculation
Motorway takes guide prices and applies a likely ‘chip down’

Alex Buttle, director, car buying comparison website comments:

“Consumers are increasingly looking to sell their car online to car buying sites because the process is quick, hassle-free and there are some great instant deals to be found. Many sellers simply don’t have time to wait for offers on classified sites or to drive between car dealerships to negotiate a good price. Selling online is the fastest way to get a vehicle sold and it’s why the instant online car buying industry is growing at around 15% a year.

“But speed and convenience should not mean consumers have to accept unnecessary price reductions as part and parcel of selling online. Not all buyers routinely inflate their online valuations, but sadly chipping has become so widespread that many consumers have already accepted it as common practice. Unrealistic online valuations could really damage the reputation of this growing industry if it’s not tackled head-on.

“We felt it was time to introduce smart technology to solve this problem, so we developed TruePrice to bring pricing clarity and transparency to motorists across the UK. Car buyers featured on the platform are now actively collaborating with us to instantly provide the most accurate valuations they can for sellers, that reflect the money customers ultimately end up receiving.

“Price transparency has transformed every other e-commerce space, it’s about time the car industry embraced the inevitable transition to a consumer-first, data-led experience. Car sellers deserve to be empowered with technology and should never be treated like ‘valuation victims’.”

Notes to Editors

Data and methodology

Buyer chip down rates were calculated by looking at the difference between online car buyer valuations and the price sellers actually received on the day of sale. Motorway analysed the online valuations and final sale prices for over 4,000 completed instant car buyer sales through it’s comparison platform during the past 12 months.

Car Dealer Magazine: Used Car Product Of The Year 2020

We are extremely proud to announce that Motorway was awarded ‘Highly Commended’ for the ‘Used Car Product of the Year’ award at the Car Dealer Magazine Used Car Awards 2020.

The awards were presented online by Mike Brewer, star of Discovery Channel TV show Wheeler Dealers on Friday 5th February.

used car product of the year 2020
Motorway – ‘Highly Commended’: Car Dealer Magazine, Used Car Product Of The Year 2020

Well done to our fantastic team for all your hard work throughout a challenging year. Thanks too to our incredible dealers – we love working with you, and are always proud to serve you with exclusive privately-owned stock.

Finally, a big thank you to Mike Brewer for hosting the event, all the judges, Car Dealer Magazine, James Baggott and Michelle Searle for your support. What a year!

Motorway sales director James Bush said:

“We are delighted to have been awarded Highly Commended in the Used Car Product category in this year’s Used Car Awards.

“It’s testament to the hard work our team have put in to provide a truly market-leading product and service for the dealer community, especially during the pandemic.

“Our unique offering of high-spec, privately owned used vehicle stock – all online and without the middle men – has attracted more car dealers than ever this last year.

“This recognition from the judges is a great validation of our mission towards providing the best possible, most efficient online stock-acquisition platform for the long term.”

Dealers can sign up to buy exclusive, privately-owned used car stock at Motorway here.

25 years of car ownership in the UK – Visualised

The British car market has seen some dramatic changes over the last 25 years. Walk down any UK road in 2019 and the brands and models you’ll see parked up in driveways are very different to 25 years ago.

To show just how much things have changed, we’ve visualised data from the DVLA on makes and models on UK roads between 1994 – 2018.

Take a look at the most popular brands over time:

For the specific models, the speed of change is even more apparent:

What to make of all this then?

🇺🇸US brand Ford remains the king of UK roads with its ubiquitous Focus and Fiesta models thriving with sustained numbers. However Escort, Mondeo and Sierra models saw quick declines over the period. Ford’s dominance is beginning to look shakey as competitors from Europe start to take a chunk of market share.

🇩🇪German car manufacturers including Volkswagen, BMW, Mercedes and Audi made massive inroads with numbers on UK roads increasing by 156% over this period. It would seem that a growing reputation for build quality, efficiency and safety has convinced more and more Brits to go Deutch.

🇫🇷French brands Peugeot, Renault and Citroen have been consistent over the period, but in recent years that ‘Va Va Voom’ has all but dried up with numbers on UK roads declining by -30% between 2010 to 2018.

🇬🇧As for UK brands, Vauxhall leadership has remained strong, propped up by solid Corsa and Astra sales. The picture for Rover isn’t so pretty – it went from being the second most popular UK car brand in 1994 to total decimation after the turn of the millennium, before barely registering by 2005.

What other stories can you see?  Tweet us @motorwayhq and tell us your views.

Feel free to embed these graphics from Motorway on your website (with a link/ credit back to who produced the graphs)

Credit for the source data to DVLA, 2018.

Motorway launches major marketing campaign, with new TV ad where dealers take centre stage

motorway tv ad 2021

Motorway, the UK’s fastest-growing way to sell your car, has launched a major new campaign spanning TV, OOH, radio and digital. The campaign is the first piece of work from the brand’s new agency line up of Wonderhood Studios and MG OMD, highlighting the range of benefits consumers can get by selling their car the Motorway way.  

The TV ad, directed by Scott Lyon through Outsider, follows the journey of a Motorway customer enjoying the end-to-end Motorway experience for the first time.  As he uploads his car onto the platform whilst relaxing in his bathtub, viewers are given a sneak peek into what happens behind the scenes to get Motorway customers the best deal. 

Set on an actual motorway, car dealers race against each other to reach the car, all bidding to get the best price. The winning dealer performs a daring stunt from his vehicle to collect the car, ultimately resulting in the blissfully unaware customer getting £1,000 more than expected all while in the comfort of his home. 

The TV is supported by radio, social and an OOH campaign launching in September which unveils Motorway’s newly refreshed visual identity.

Lloyd Page, Chief Marketing Officer at Motorway, said:

“The used car market is incredibly buoyant right now with people looking for a fast and easy way to sell their car for a great price. We’ve already helped over 65,000 consumers sell their car for more and this new campaign will now propel our brand awareness to the next level, ensuring anyone in the UK who wants to sell a car knows that there is only one way to do it, the Motorway.”

The campaign launch comes after Motorway announced in June that it had secured £48m in venture capital investment after seeing sales triple over the last 12 months. The company has completed over 65,000 car sales through its website since it started in 2017, with a new sale currently being agreed every 10 minutes.”

Watch the new Motorway TV ad below:

Buckle up! The Motorway tube ad is here

Buckle up Londoners, there’s a new Motorway ad on the tube…

This week we are proud to announce we have launched our first tube ad across London’s underground train network.

The advert features a pink-haired passenger whizzing down the road as she enjoys the rush of comparing prices with Motorway. The ad explains how you might be smarter using Motorway when you sell your car – you could get up to £1,000 more.

We are running the ads London-wide for a couple of weeks this September across every underground line. Look out for them on your commute!

See the Motorway tube ad below:

Buckle up. It's Motorway tube ad
Buckle up. It’s the Motorway tube ad

And here it is spotted in the wild on the Bakerloo line:

Motorway poster on TFL tube
The Motorway tube ad on the Bakerloo line, September 2019