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Used diesel demand strong in top 5 EU but performance varies wildly

Diesel demonisation may have hit new car sales but it’s also brought different used car dynamics across the top five European markets, despite continued strong demand from drivers.

Three of the five major European used car markets – Germany, France and Italy – have experienced an increase in diesel demand of late

Figures published by Indicata show that B2C diesel car sales were up 3% for the first seven months of 2019 – hitting 3.74 million compared to 3.64 million for the same period last year.

But while the result of restricted supply and consistent consumer demand has helped ensure that net used diesel prices have remained, largely, stable across all markets, there are intricate market variances across the big five.

In Germany, for example, used diesel car prices were up 2.8% on average in Q2 2019 versus Q2 2018. Online B2C used diesel car prices rose 2% over the first seven months of 2019, compared to a 3.5% fall in average used petrol car prices.

In Italy too, a 4.7% increase in used diesel sales for the first seven months of 2019, compared with the same period in 2018 took diesel used car market share from 68% to 68.3% this year.

Average online B2C used diesel car prices were also up in France (3.1%) for Q2 2019 compared to the same period in 2018, with petrol prices reducing by 6.4% in the first seven months of 2019.

However, in the UK, average used diesel car prices fell by 1.1% in Q2 2019, year-on-year, whilst used petrol car prices have jumped up 3.6% in the same quarter. And in Spain, used diesel car values across the J- and B-segment have reduced, with only the C-segment showing any sign of improvement.

Jurgen Klaus, Autorola Group’s Indicata’s global sales director, said: “Despite the demonisation of diesel, our data shows it is not as simple as just stating diesel is on a downward trajectory. This is highlighted by the fact that three of the five major European used car markets – Germany, France and, specifically Italy –  have experienced an increase in demand in recent times.”

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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. Natalie edits all the Fleet World websites and newsletters, and loves to hear about any latest industry news.