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Could petrol used prices start to slide backwards?
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THE Vehicle Remarketing Association is cautioning that there could be an oversupply of petrol cars to the used car market.

The trade body says that, while there has been a relatively sudden move towards petrol in the new car sector, there is little sign of demand for used diesels falling.

Glenn Sturley, VRA chair, said:

“We have seen a dramatic shift away from diesel in favour of petrol in the new car market in a very short space of time.

“However, this has not been reflected in the used market. While there have been some relatively small price shifts that have seen used petrol car prices increasing, there has been no real sign of any reduction in demand for diesel.

“Diesels continue to provide key advantages over petrol for used car buyers. These range from superior fuel economy and to higher mileage capability. They remain arguably the more attractive used car purchase for many people.”

Values could soften in medium term

The VRA said that a sudden influx of petrol cars into the used sector could have an effect on current values.

“At some point in the next 12-24 months, we will see petrol cars arriving on the used market in much higher numbers,” continued Sturley.

Glenn Sturley, VRA chairman
Glenn Sturley, VRA chairman

“Volumes for petrol supply in the last few years on some model ranges have been sub-10% of total numbers and this figure could easily triple.

“What is largely unknown is the extent to which used car buyers will decide to buy petrol over diesel when given that option. Certainly, there is no sign that the environmental concerns that have reshaped the new car market will similarly impact on the used sector.

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“It wouldn’t be surprising for a situation to develop where petrol moves quite quickly into oversupply, with there being a reduction against current prices. In fact, what may well happen in the medium term is that there is some kind of petrol-diesel parity.

“However, we are dealing with a situation that remains quite dynamic and there are also further factors such as the larger numbers of hybrids arriving on the used market. We, and our members, are monitoring developments very closely.

“Certainly, we are not envisaging any form of fall in diesel values unless factors such as increasing taxes or low emissions zones suddenly become the norm, other than perhaps in the older, genuinely more polluting vehicles of Euro 4 and below.”


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