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Diesel remains resilient in used car market

used cars sign

Diesel cars are continuing to perform well in the used car market, with a higher rate of price growth than petrol models.

Auto Trader’s Retail Price Index highlights a 2.6% increase in the average price of a used diesel car last year.

Sales of used diesels increased by 0.3% in 2018 and diesel remain the fastest selling used cars.

However, searches for diesel cars in January fell to an all-time low of 45% on Auto Trader’s platform.

Last year saw a gradual easing in the rate of growth for petrol prices. In January 2018, petrol prices grew at a rate of 10.7%, but last month’s average price of £11,374 represented an annual like-for-like increase of just 3.7%.

Whilst the latest industry results reported sales of second-hand alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFVs) had increased 26.9% in 2018, the Auto Trader Index, which combines and analyses data from more than 500,000 trade used car listings every day, reported a similar slowing down of used prices as petrol last year, albeit at a less precipitous rate.

In January 2018 the rate of growth for a second-hand AFVs was 8.4%, but with an average sticker price of £21,399 last month, the rate of price growth has decreased to 4.6%.

Karolina Edwards-Smajda, Auto Trader’s commercial product director, said: “Fuel represents just one in five searches on our marketplace, so whilst the sustained decline in diesel is significant, it’s not representative of all consumers. Rather, with the percentage of fuel searches declining from 25% to 20% in just 18 months, it highlights that car buyers are becoming increasingly agnostic. Our research consistently shows that they’re not limiting their search to a type, but instead considering all as part of their next car journey; new, used, petrol, diesel, or electric. Retailers should be marketing to them accordingly.” 



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