AM Online

Strong demand for used diesel cars drives 5.6% Q1 values increase

Jon Mitchell, Autorola

Strong demand for used diesel vehicles has resulted in a 5.6% increase in values during Q1 as part of an apparent resurgence in popularity, according to data published by Autorola.

Used diesel car prices rose to their highest level since the remarketing specialist launched its quarterly used car prices report in 2015, increasing to £13,226 during the first three months of 2019.

Diesel used prices rose by 5.6% (£704) in Q1 from Q4 2018 (£12,522) despite an average quarterly mileage increase of 639 miles to 28,068 miles, it said, as the average age of used diesel cars sold on Autorola’s online portal remained at 33 months.

The performance outstripped the rise in values among petrol-powered vehicles, which generated a 2.1% increase i to a record high of £10,598 (from £10,370 in Q4 2018) in Q1 as the average age increased from 31 to 32 months and mileage rose slightly from 18,055 to 18,636 miles.

Jon Mitchell, Autorola UK’s group sales director, said: “Demand for diesel has been very strong across the board, everything from Focus to SUVs, resulting in a strong quarterly price performance.”

He added: “Petrol continues to create interest with buyers although prices have slowed down, while the supply of hybrids and EVs reaching the market has increased, but consistency of supply and stock profile remains erratic.

“In the run up to the original Brexit decision in March we saw a slight softening of buyer bids and demand, but this is now changing, and we are seeing some great used stock coming into the market fuelled by the 19-plate change.”

Autorola has seen used car demand and sales flourish during Q1. Plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles (EVs) have contributed to this sales increase with three times as many cars being sold online during Q1 than Q4 2018.

Electric and hybrid prices rose in Q1 by £4,595 to £16,783 from £12,188 in Q4. 

The National Association of Motor Auctions (NAMA) chairman, James Tomlinson, said this week that auctioneers are expecting to see “a surge in vehicle volumes this month”.

NAMA said that, according to its own attitude surveys, auction operators expect to see petrol and diesel car values remain stable.

However, in contrast to Autorola’s findings from Q1, 5% of respondents expected a decrease in petrol prices and 15% expecting a drop in diesel.

Values of Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) which include hybrid and electric vehicles are thought also to remain steady during April, although unlike petrol and diesel, some members have indicated that these values could increase.

Average age and mileage look set to remain steady over April, although over 35% of respondents indicated that both could increase with 35% expecting conversion rates to soften during April. 

The continued growth of Low Emission Zones is expected to keep demand for Euro 6 vehicles strong.

In the pre-Euro 6 market, over 70% of respondents are expecting to see values of remain steady or increase.

Tomlinson said that that NAMA was expecting what its members had reported as a “buoyant market” to continue into Q2.

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