The automotive industry should stay calm over the future residual values (RVs) of diesel cars, the Vehicle Remarketing Association (VRA) has warned.

According to the trade body, RVs of most diesel cars will remain stable, despite a large amount of negative press surrounding the use of the fuel.

The VRA said that so far, the impact on diesel RVs have been limited, though the body – which represents companies involved in remarketing more than 1.5 million vehicles every year – added it is monitoring the situation closely.

However, Glenn Sturley, chair of the VRA, said the age of the vehicles will affect their future prospects.

“At one extreme, Euro 4 vehicles are much more likely to be affected by clean air legislation and their values could fall quickly, but most of these cars are now quite old and probably in ‘banger’ territory,” he said. “At the other, Euro 6 vehicles meet the latest emissions regulations and, however you measure them, are highly unlikely to be hit by any new rules and regulations. These are newer vehicles and there is no concrete reason buyers won’t want them.”

He added: “The fact is that car buying habits usually take years to gain momentum and also take years to fall away. There are many, many people who see themselves as diesel buyers, and they will not just change overnight. There may be some specific instances that have a localised effect, such as where different cities introduce clean air tariffs, that affect diesels over the next couple of years, but these are only likely to hit the oldest models.”

The VRA’s view that diesel “is likely to remain a crucial part of the motor trade’s fuel mix for the foreseeable future” is echoed by Pendragon Vehicle Management, which recently said that diesel “is the only realistic choice for fleets” and Meridan Vehicle Solutions, which said that fleets are still choosing diesel in their droves when renting, despite the negative press associated with the fuel choice.