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REMARKETING: Green and black: the war of fuels

Date: 04 December 2013   |   Author: Jack Carfrae

The market share for second-hand diesel cars has been on the slide in recent years, from 36% to 33% since 2010

The war between the two major fuels is intensifying. Lofty prices at the pumps and a big difference between the figures fleets are paying for petrol and diesel means businesses are now having to crunch the numbers carefully before defaulting to the fuel they've always gone for in the past.

This is even more crucial come defleet time because there's no point trying to shift petrol-engined models if it isn't what the used market wants.

That said, even accounting for the difference at the pumps, it will come as no surprise that diesel is still the dominant force for ex-fleet and lease cars.

BCA's operations director Simon Henstock says there can be as much as a four-figure difference between the two: "There can be little argument that the average price of a fleet and lease diesel car always outperforms that of a similar average petrol model. Research. shows there is a clear and significant difference in average value at remarketing time - never less than £1100 over the past year and rising to as much as £1747 in October 2012, which was equivalent to a 31.5% variance."

The strength of diesel is such that there have actually been cases of cars increasing in value, while like-for-like petrol equivalents were simultaneously on the decline within the past 12 months, as Henstock explains: "The price trends generally move in tandem although there were instances of petrol values falling while diesel values were rising, in the spring of last year, for example."

The opinion is virtually unanimous around the industry too, as CD Auctions Group's managing director Roger Woodward explains: "I don't see fleets turning away from diesel because their focus will always be on higher mileage, running costs and low driver BIK."