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Fears over used diesel values should now subside, VRA says

Date: 18 April 2018   |   Author: Sean Keywood

Fears of a crash in used diesel car values prompted by emissions scandals, government policy and other factors should now have passed, according to the Vehicle Remarketing Association (VRA). 

Chairman Glenn Sturley said that widespread belief that diesel values were set for a sharp decline was understood to be one of the main factors behind the recent significant drop in new diesel car sales.

However, he said such concerns were unfounded.

"The motor industry finds itself in a situation where consumers are confused and worried about buying a new car, especially diesels," Sturley said. "A generalised assumption has arisen that buying a diesel is somehow a gamble.

"There was a brief moment last year when this concern may have had some foundation, but it passed very quickly.

"What we now know is that there has been a relatively slight adjustment in used diesel car values, which has stabilised, and used diesel demand is currently very, very healthy. Any worries should really now have passed.

"Our members deal with selling, inspecting, transporting and managing more than 1.5 million used vehicles every year. We have a very accurate idea of what is happening in the used car marketplace and we can say that diesel values are very solid."

Sturley said the situation was frustrating as it was based on misconceptions.

He said: "The reasons that are being given for not buying diesels - that they are environmentally unfriendly, that they will be the subject of stringent legislation and so on - have little or no basis in fact. A Euro 6 diesel is a very green vehicle choice."

Sturley said more clarity on the issue needed to be forthcoming, including from the government.

"The messages about diesel that the government has given out in the last year or so are, at best, confusing, as is their policy itself in key areas such as vehicle excise duty and company car tax," he said.

"To some extent, it is no surprise that consumer perceptions are muddled.

"The fact is that the quite extreme decline in the new diesel car market that we are seeing is very much a preventable one - but the industry needs help to get the positive messages required across to potential new car buyers.

"Those messages are simple - new diesel cars remain a good environmental choice and there is no reason at all to expect a collapse in their values.

"With the right level of commitment, there is no reason that they cannot be successfully communicated."