Experts warn new diesel car slump may lead to secondhand shortages, rising prices

Used Fiat 500XNew car buyers are now so out of love with diesel, future used car buyers may experience stock shortages due to a lack of vehicles passing through the system.

Although new car diesel sales have plummeted in recent years, secondhand demand has remained firm. And the Vehicle Remarketing Association (VRA), whose members sell 1.5 million used cars each year, says such a fast rate of new diesel decline is likely to cause issues.

Over the past two years, it explained, more than half a million fewer new diesel cars have entered the used car market. VRA deputy chair Philip Nothard says the situation is becoming “acute”.

“The speed of decline in diesel has been much more rapid than the overall market, but demand for used diesels has not really fallen very much at all.

“Used car buyers tend to take a much more practical view. They have bought diesels over many years because they are tough, economical and practical – and these factors haven’t really changed.”

This, he predicted, could lead to some types of used diesel car starting to carry a price premium.

Used car forecourt

“This could easily occur in, for example, the large SUV sector, where the running cost difference between petrol and diesel derivative are very much in favour of the latter.”

The Range Rover Velar illustrates the fuel savings diesel still offers. A 250hp 2.0-litre turbo petrol version averages 30.5mpg, while the 240hp 2.0-litre turbodiesel returns 40.7mpg – that’s over 30 percent more miles to the gallon.

For value-seeking secondhand buyers, that’s a huge advantage in diesel’s favour…