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Auto Trader: used diesel prices strong, but searches down

The average price of second-hand diesel cars increased by 3% year-on-year in January, according to Auto Trader.

Accordsing to the used car marketing giant’s Retail Price Index, diesel values rose by £777 to an average of £14,405 last month, again disproving claims that anti-diesel rhetoric has caused prices to fall.

However, Auto Trader claimed that searches for diesel cars on its website – whereby buyers actively look for a used vehicle via fuel type – fell to a new low of 53% in January, down from 54% in December 2017 and 71% in November. Auto Trader RPI Jan 2018 - diesel only

It said the average price of a used petrol car in January rose by 10% (£1,733) to £10,713 and that searches for petrol models were up from 26% in November 2017 to 43% in January.

The average price for second-hand cars in January, regardless of fuel type, was £12,775, up 6% year-on-year, while alternative fuel vehicles accounted for 4% of fuel-related searches.

Karolina Edwards-Smajda, Auto Trader Retailer and Consumer Product Director“With new diesel registrations continuing to tumble, it’s very reassuring to see used diesel prices not only retaining their value, but actually increasing in January,” said Auto Trader’s retailer and consumer product director, Karolina Edwards-Smajda (pictured right).

“It’s clear, however, just how harmful the government’s strong anti-diesel stance has been on the automotive industry. Our marketplace attracts over 55 million cross platform visits each month, so it offers a useful and accurate picture of consumer buying intention.

“We can see that the misstep in not clarifying the difference between new Euro6 and older vehicles has seriously dampened consumer buying confidence, reflected in both the ongoing fall in new diesel registrations, as well as the searches on our market place.

“There remains great opportunity for retailers in 2018, not least the growing popularity of AFVs, but unless the government is prepared to soften its position on diesel and offer car buyers greater incentives for buying electric, the year ahead will remain unnecessarily challenging for the market.”