Fleet News

Buyers seek diesel in bid for fuel-efficient motoring

USED buyers are increasingly demanding diesel-powered cars, as they go for more fuel- efficient motoring.

The BCA 2005 Used Car Market Report found 22% of survey respondents had bought a used diesel car, up from 20% last year and 15% in 2002 (Fleet NewsNet, September 8). The Pulse quarterly report found that the rising demand showed no signs of slowing and mirrors strong diesel sales in the new car sector.

Tony Gannon, BCA’s group sales and marketing director, said: ‘Diesels are most favoured by the 35 to 54 age bracket, with a quarter of this age group buying a used diesel. Perhaps surprisingly, the oldest motorists, aged above 65, remain unswayed by diesel with just 13% preferring them.’

When asked why they buy diesel, 82% of respondents said it was because of the better fuel consumption. ‘The engine lasts longer’ and a ‘more reliable engine’ were cited by 33% and 30% respectively.

But only 14% chose a diesel for environmental reasons, the study found.

The professional buyer is prepared to pay more for diesel cars despite higher average mileages at the time of sale.

In the fleet sector, the average diesel mileage at remarketing is more than 67,000, compared to just under 50,000 for petrol. But the average price of a diesel car is more than 10% higher at £6,649, compared to £6,042 for petrol (see table below).

Diesel is the only option for buyers in the larger MPV and 4x4 markets because the petrol equivalents are so expensive to run. The same is true of the upper medium sector where diesel power makes the bigger ex-fleet models look more appealing.

The desirability gap only narrows on smaller models such as three and five-door hatchbacks and city cars, where the petrol model is almost as cheap to run.

Petrol 2005 - quarter 3
Market Sector Average Age (mnts) Average Mileage Average Sale Price Sale Price vs Cap %
Fleet 37.49 49,865 £6,042 98.71
Nearly new 7.07 8,656 £10,275 102.11
Part exchange 82.52 63,353 £2,519 94.35
Diesel 2005 - quarter 3
Market Sector Average Age (mnts) Average Mileage Average Sale Price Sale Price vs Cap %
Fleet 36.41 67,336 £6,649 98.01
Nearly new 6.66 8,061 £13,331 103.51
Part Exchange 70.53 77,160 £4,327 96.13

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