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Cleaner engines to spark diesel resurgence in used car market

Shoreham Vehicle Auctions managing director, Alex Wright

An influx of cleaner Euro-6 compliant engines into the UK’s used car market could be about to spark a diesel resurgence, Shoreham Vehicle Auctions (SVS) believes.

The remarketing specialist has said that as Euro 6 standard diesel cars begin to appear in auction halls across the UK in far greater numbers as they come off lease contracts at between 42 and 48 months, the newer vehicle could yet have a vital role to play in lowering vehicle emissions on UK roads.

Car retailers will have to be at the front line of a drive to sell the benefits of the increasingly available powertrains, however.

SVA acknowledges that while consumer acceptance of electric vehicles (EV) is reaching a tipping point and petrol engines have assumed a dominant position in new car registrations data published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), retailers can help tackle the cynicism towards diesels in light of the performance offered by Euro 6 compliant models.

Alex Wright, managing director of SVA, said: “Despite the tipping point having arrived for EV vehicles, we will see the diesel market recover and, due to the reduction in new diesel sales, the pendulum will swing back to an increased demand in the second-hand market.

“The new generation of petrol owners in an SUV will realise the extra running costs versus diesel, and when the green light is given by the government that these new generation diesels are actually helping the country reduce CO2 and NOx emissions, it will be accepted as a ‘green’ solution until EVs fully establish themselves.

“We must remember that petrol powertrains’ generate CO2 and NOx emissions too and, arguably, have progressed less than diesels in recent Euro standard iterations.”

The National Association of Motor Auctions (NAMA) stated last month that demand for used electric vehicles (EV) was expected to reach new heights - with values rising correspondingly - as supplies of new models struggled to meet consumer expectations in September.

Since the Volkswagen (VW) ‘dieselgate’ scandal emerged in September 2015, there has been a significant backlash on diesel powertrains across the market with some councils “taking advantage”, according to Wright, by charging more for parking when owning a diesel vehicle.

However, since September 2015, all diesels sold in the UK have had to be Euro 6 compliant. These ultra-low emission vehicles are recognised as some of the most fuel-efficient vehicles available today, SVS said.

“Despite the momentum behind electric vehicles, there is going to be a resurgence in demand for ultra-low emission diesel powertrains,” said Wright.

“These vehicles will sit alongside EVs and ultra-efficient petrols as part of the solution in reducing emissions and improving urban air quality,” he added.

In March of this year, it was revealed that average CO2 emissions across all cars sold in Europe had reached a four-year high.

This was largely driven by the switch to petrol and the growing popularity of SUVs, which are typically less efficient than traditional family hatchbacks and Euro 6 diesel equivalents.


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