Diesel car prices fall below petrol for the first time

Time 7:26 pm, December 14, 2015

THE average price of diesel cars has fallen below that of petrol for the first time ever, according to November data released by Auto Trader in the first of its new quarterly Retail Price Index bulletins.

At the same time alternatively fuelled cars showed the biggest year-on-year price increase at 6.5 per cent, an average of £1,300, compared to petrol and diesel models.

Diesel model volumes have been rising, increasing the diesel market share by 0.23 per cent – with petrol cars decreasing at a rate of 0.59 per cent. In response to the increase in market share, according to Auto Trader, diesel models were the only fuel type to decrease in price, with buyers reportedly paying £124 less on average for diesel cars compared to 2014.

The shift brings diesel price averages below petrol for the very first time, a result of more diesel models entering the market and the overall market share for petrol shrinking.

The new price index tracks the market value of all cars advertised by retailers on, supplying data on trends and changes driven by supply and demand dynamics across makes, models, segments and fuel types.

Karolina Edwards-Smajda, Auto Trader’s retailer and consumer products director, said:  ‘The supply of diesel cars has increased to the point where volume numbers are very close to petrol. The supply and demand relationship has caused the drop in diesel values.’

She added: ‘One of the most interesting observations for the year-on-year November period has been the rise in market share of alternative fuel vehicles, giving the industry more insight into the UK’s growing appetite for electric and hybrid vehicles.

‘There’s been a big drive from most of the manufacturers to launch desirable alternative fuel cars which is set to grow further, only recently Ford announced its plans for large-scale investment into this area.’

The newly released Auto Trader data also reveals two distinct trends within the alternative fuel vehicle segment.

Hybrid cars are depreciating the least initially compared to other fuel types, but trends are showing signs of depreciation eventually levelling out at rates similar to petrol and diesel models.

Edwards-Smajda said: ‘Despite the positive outlook for hybrid car depreciation, we are seeing very different trends with electric vehicles, as the latest data shows electric cars depreciating at much higher rates – especially within the first two years – losing value much quicker than hybrid, petrol and diesel cars.’

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