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Used car buyers 'wise-up' to petrols and shun eco specials

Date: 07 May 2013   |   Author: Jack Carfrae

Used car buyers are shunning high cost, economical diesels in favour of more affordable petrols, say remarketing experts.

Jon Mitchell, sales director at online remarketing specialist Autorola told BusinessCar: "[Used] buyers are wising up to the fact that petrol can be more economical than diesel once the higher pump prices for the latter are taken into consideration.

"Vehicles such as the Peugeot 107 and 308; Toyota Aygo and Yaris; Kia Picanto and Rio; and smaller [petrol] models from the likes of Ford, Mazda and Suzuki are continuing to gain ground."

Mitchell also stated that big petrol-engined cars are actually proving popular, simply because they're so much cheaper than cleaner but costly diesels.

"Larger petrol powered cars are also halting the acceleration of diesel; the mpg may not be as extensive but the savings at the pump combined with a cheaper purchase price - around £1,000 less for a three- or four-year-old five-door model, far outweigh the diesel's more attractive mpg performance."

Richard Parkin, director of valuations and analysis at Glass's, claimed that some used buyers are, in fact, shunning eco variants such as Volkswagen's Bluemotion and Ford's Econetic, to the point where some of them suffer heavier depreciation.

"In terms of residual value [the price premium] doesn't translate into a shallower depreciation curve.

"If anything, one or two models display greater depreciation - i.e. aligning with non-eco branded vehicles - which indicates a certain level of alienation from the consumer.

"Judging by the RVs it would suggest that eco cars are subject to the same considerations as non-eco equivalents when in the second-hand market.

"That indicates acceptance and tangible consideration, but not necessarily preference - then you would expect to see shallower RV curves due to harder pricing driven by stronger-than-average demand."