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Cost Benefits Drive Used Diesel Sales – For Now

Used car buyers are still opting for the better fuel economy delivered by a modern diesel than a petrol model and the oil-burners are moving faster off dealers’ forecourts – but hybrids are catching up.

New data from cap hpi adds to the mountain of evidence pointing towards diesel still being the fuel of choice for customers in the second-hand market. Drivers not bothered about company car tax favour the lower running costs and this is especially true of the heavier cars such as SUVs or MPVs which work well with a good diesel and the torque it generates.

Cap hpi’s figures gathered from dealers show that on average, a diesel model will sell within 45 days where an equivalent petrol car sticks for nearly 10% longer, at 49 days.

Derren Martin, head of UK valuations at cap hpi said:

“Despite on-going negative coverage of diesel engines and a marked decline in new sales, the used buyer still has an appetite for diesel cars, which offer low cost of ownership and a driving dynamic that appeals to many.”

A New Appetite For Hybrid Powertrains

However, there is also increasing evidence that a new trend is developing. While diesel vehicles remain in plentiful supply and sell the most volume thanks to the glut of them sold on the new market over the past several years, their values dropped more relative to petrol in June and while the fall itself was not big, it has happened every month so far this year.

In contrast, second-hand petrol hybrid cars dropped by less than the average across the whole used car sector and buyer demand for them is growing, indicating a new appetite for the semi-electric powertrains.

However, as diesel supply begins to dry up following the shift away in new cars there will always be a healthy demand and this will keep values high.

Derren added:

“Despite high used volumes, and contrary to what is happening in the new car market, there has been plenty of demand for used diesel vehicles and used values have held up relatively well over the last couple of years. Used supply will fall off significantly over the next few years, and this will help to support used values over a period when demand is likely to fall too.”

The company warns that if and when more cities implement charging or exclusion zones for older diesel cars then it could create local pockets where older diesel cars could struggle to sell, but they will still have a market, at a good price, in rural areas away from these cities.

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