Press release

Used diesel prices continue to grow in September

Average price of a used car increased 5% YoY in September.

  • Used diesel prices continue to grow, recording 2% year-on-year increase
  • Diesel remains most searched for fuel type on Auto Trader

5th October, London – According to the latest figures from the Auto Trader Retail Price Index, the average price of a used car in the UK is continuing to grow, reaching £12,436 in September; a like-for-like increase of 5% on the same period last year.

The Auto Trader Retail Price Index combines and analyses data from c. 500,000 trade used car listings every day, as well as additional dealer forecourt and website data (OEM, fleet and leasing disposal prices, in addition to pricing data from over 3,000 car dealership websites and data from major auction houses across the UK), ensuring the Index is an accurate reflection of the live retail market.

According to the latest new car registration figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), new diesel registrations dropped 21.7% in September, marking six consecutive months of decline. However, whilst the new diesel car market is struggling, according to our data, used diesel car prices are showing resilience.

Despite recent reports that have suggested the prices of used diesels were in decline, the Index reveals that average diesel prices are in fact slightly increasing. Whilst diesel average price increases have been slowing for most of 2017, since August they have started to grow again. In September, the average price of a used diesel was £14,360; an increase of £282 on the previous month, representing an annual increase of 2% on a like-for-like basis (adjusting for changes in the mix of cars being sold at any point in time).

However, despite this respectable increase, diesel continues to be significantly outperformed by petrol. The average price of a used petrol car saw a monthly increase of £223, rising to £10,029; a 10% like-for-like increase on September 2016.

Diesel still popular with many

Data taken from Auto Trader’s market place, which attracts over 55 million cross platform visits each month, revealed that despite the ongoing fall in diesel new car registrations, diesel remains the most searched for fuel type on Auto Trader (new and used).

Since November 2016 the number of searches for diesel cars has steadily declined in line with negative commentary. However, since May 2017 this decline has started to reverse with diesel searches rising to 56% of all fuel searches in September, with petrol dropping to 40%. In August, diesel accounted for 55% of searches and petrol 40%.

Commenting, Karolina Edwards-Smajda, Auto Trader’s Retailer and Consumer Product Director said: “The fuel debate, and ultimately the speculation around the future of diesel, began in earnest following the London Mayor’s call for a national scrappage scheme in November last year. As a result we saw an immediate impact on our site as well as across the wider retail sector – the rate of growth for used diesel prices began to slow and the share of searches on Auto Trader dropped significantly. However, since early this summer these trends in searches and prices have started to reverse, and whilst September’s SMMT results illustrate a clear impact on new diesel registrations, our data demonstrates its resilience in used car prices.

“The greater efficiency that diesel engines offer means that they continue to be a good choice for many motorists. What’s more, with the introduction of the Euro 6 standard engine, they’re also significantly greener than older diesel and petrol cars. The numerous scrappage schemes offered by manufacturers, as well as an effort from dealers to educate consumers, is helping to drive awareness of modern diesels, and in the process helping to shift the debate away from the generally negative rhetoric.”

About Auto Trader

Auto Trader Group plc is the UK and Ireland’s largest digital automotive marketplace. Auto Trader sits at the heart of the UK’s vehicle buying process and its primary activity is to help vehicle retailers compete effectively on the marketplace in order to sell more vehicles, faster. Auto Trader listed on the London Stock Exchange in March 2015 and is now a member of the FTSE 250 Index.

The marketplace brings together the largest and most engaged consumer audience. Auto Trader has over 90% prompted brand awareness and attracts an average of 60 million monthly cross platform visits a month, with circa 70% of visits coming through mobile devices.

The marketplace also has the largest pool of vehicle sellers (listing more than 470,000 cars each day). Over 80% of UK automotive retailers advertise on autotrader.co.uk.

For more information, please contact:

Andrew Nankervis | Andrew.nankervis@autotrader.co.uk

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Auto Trader Group plc
Registered in England (Company number: 09439967)

Auto Trader Limited
Registered in England and Wales (Company number: 03909628)

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Manchester
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