Petrol reaches record popularity in Auto Trader searches

filling up with petrol auto trader

Petrol now accounts for 50 percent of all searches on Auto Trader’s marketplace, according to the latest analysis of figures by the car sales website. That’s up from just 33 percent two years ago. Diesel now accounts for just 42 percent of searches on Auto Trader, compared with this time two years ago when it accounted for 64 percent of searches.

London is where diesel has taken the biggest hit, in the run-up to the Ultra Low Emission Zone coming into effect in April 2019. As many as 63 percent of searches on Auto Trader from the London locale were diesel in February 2017. Last month, diesel came into just 26 percent of searches on Auto Trader. That’s an incredible drop of 37 percent over two years.

Overall, fuel-related searches have increased from 32 percent to 61 percent over the past couple of years. Alternative fuel vehicles (hybrids, electric cars and more) have gone up in popularity in searches on Auto Trader, from four percent to 12 percent in this period.

Diesels hold value, in spite of reduced demand

Auto Trader searches

Regardless of what seems to be reduced demand, diesel cars are holding their value sufficiently. The average price of a secondhand diesel actually increased 2.4 percent year-on-year, to £14,309. That might not be a function of the value of diesel, however, rather that second-hand cars are getting younger and more valuable…

Indeed, petrol-powered cars increased in value year-on-year by 2.8 percent, to £11,249.  Meanwhile, alternative-fuel vehicles have had a massive secondhand value increase year-on-year of 4.4 percent, to £21,809. Overall, secondhand cars on Auto Trader are 2.7 percent more valuable now than in February 2018.

Auto Trader searches

“The latest used market results along with our own price data highlights the stoicism of second-hand diesels,” said Karolina Edwards-Smajda, Auto Trader’s commercial product director.

“However, whilst fuel only represents one in five of the 55 searches that take place on our marketplace every second, the ongoing decline in diesel searches clearly highlights the impact a combination of sustained ‘demonisation’ and new legislation is having on consumer perception.”

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