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Appetite for used diesels at auction remains robust

Used car demand for diesels continues to soar, in sharp contrast to new car registrations.

February proved a strong month for the used car market with wholesale prices remaining buoyant

February proved a strong month for the used car market with wholesale prices remaining buoyant

Adding credence to industry views that buyers are turning to used cars instead of new as economic uncertainty continues, latest figures from Manheim show February brought a third consecutive annual rise in average prices, with vehicles passing through its online and physical lanes achieving an average of £7,158, an increase of nearly 12% year-on-year.

Despite a 23.5% drop in diesel demand for February new car registrations, diesel values at auction increased by 5.95% in February (£9,046 in 2018 vs. £8,538 in 2017), and vehicles in the 10k to 20k mileage band achieved the strongest average growth in value at 4.41%.

However, the growth in diesel values was outshone by the petrol market, which experienced double-digit growth of 20.05% year-on-year to £5,126. (£4,270 in 2017).

Philip Nothard, head of external communications, added: “Our data shows that the only category where petrol values didn’t grow was the £10k to £20k mileage band, which is where we’ve seen diesel excel. Petrol vehicles in this band dipped 1.38% to £13,415 in 2018, which is down from £13,603 in 2017.”

Average mileage for all fuel types continued its downward trend, shifting from 59,065 in January 2018 to 57,898 in February and overall volumes were also down (6.71%), with an exception in the 10k to 20k mileage band at 3,517 (up 2.39% on 2017 at 3,601). Manheim said the dip in overall volume was probably the result of scrappage schemes, a decline in new car registrations, the trend towards consolidation creating larger retailers and the general shift among dealers to focus on used car stock.

Looking ahead, Nothard added: “With new car incentives easing and interest rates rising, it’s likely the gap between the new and used market will widen, with increased demand across all mileage brackets driving strong prices as dealers shift their focus to used cars to drive revenues.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day.