Petrol fleet cars sold at auction are drawing level and even threatening to overtake diesels in value, according to auctioneers at BCA.

The sheer numbers of diesel-engined cars now coming onto the market are eroding the traditional five percent gap with their petrol equivalents, BCA general manager Stuart Pearson told the BusinessCar Live conference last Wednesday.

The average price of a fleet petrol car sold through BCA’s auctions was £7066, a sum that pipped the average diesel sale at £7003. It’s the first time in the modern diesel era that petrols have fought back on the used market.

“Petrol car emissions are improving dramatically,” said Pearson. “Some manufacturers have diesels and petrols returning almost the same mpg.”

However, Pearson said petrols were also more desireable because of their lower mileages. On average petrol fleet cars come to auction with 20,000 fewer miles on the clock.

Overall diesel demand is still strong, with some experts predicting diesels to break the 40% barrier for the first time in 2007. Fleet diesel demand runs even higher at 45%.