Press release

Retail Price Index | February 2019

Petrol reaches record popularity on Auto Trader as diesel searches drop to all time low  

  • Petrol now accounts for half of all fuel type searches on Auto Trader whilst diesel accounts for 42%
  • As ULEZ approaches searches for diesels in London fall to just 26%
  • Average price of a used car in February was £12,885; a like-for-like increase of 2.7% YoY

The latest findings from Auto Trader revealed that petrol now accounts for half (50%) of all fuel related searches that take place on its marketplace, whilst diesel accounts for just 42%. It marks a precipitous decline for the much-maligned fuel type, which in February 2017 accounted for 64% of fuel related searches, whilst petrol just 33%.

In London, where the new Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) comes into effect on 8th April, the decline has been felt even more keenly, with searches for diesel falling 37% in two years; from 63% in February 2017, to just 26% last month.

In contrast, fuel related searches for petrol in the Capital have spiked from 32% to 61% during the same period. Low emission alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFVs), which will be completely exempt from the new ULEZ charges, have seen a growth in searches from 4% to 12%; significantly higher than the current total market (7%).

Diesels holding their value

Whist searches for diesels may be declining, used variants continue to hold their value. According to the Auto Trader Retail Price Index[1], which combines and analyses data from c. 500,000 trade used car listings every day, as well as additional dealer forecourt and website data, the average price of a second-hand diesel in the UK in February was £14,309; a 2.4% increase year-on-year (YoY).

It’s a solid performance but does represent a slower rate of growth for its petrol and low emission counterparts. The average price of a used petrol last month was £11,249, marking a 2.8% increase on February 2018. However, with an average sticker price of £21,809, AFVs recorded the strongest rate of price growth at 4.4%.  

In terms of the whole market, the average price of a used car in February was £12,885, which on a like-for-like basis equates to a 2.7% increase on the same period last year.

Commenting on the findings, Karolina Edwards-Smajda, Auto Trader’s Commercial Product Director, said: “The latest used market results along with our own price data highlights the stoicism of second-hand diesels. 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.

“Whilst the adoption of alternatively fuelled vehicles has been relatively slow, they are becoming more financially accessible and more technologically advanced with dramatically improved range capabilities. With our latest Market Report revealing that 71% of car buyers are now considering an electric vehicle as their next car, the trends we’re seeing today are only set to accelerate.”

[1] Data segmentation updated March 2019

Our CEO Nathan Coe will be live on next week's webinar to answer your questions. You can submit your questions to him in the comments and when you register to join the webinar live at https://t.co/rdtNiD8APu https://t.co/d99VfhPofQ
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2021 was a record year for new electric vehicles on our marketplace which saw a record number of advert views in 2021, with 1 in 5 new car advert views now for an electric vehicle. What EVs do you think we'll see drawing the most attention in 2022? https://t.co/niblnnJaPl
Looking to evolve your business by breaking free of outdated data feeds and enabling your customers to have a real-time view of your digital forecourt? Then check out our ‘Essentials to connected retailing’ masterclass now 👉 https://t.co/VggO5GDvFa https://t.co/hRUW9aXDTf
We’re still faced with an element of uncertainty when it comes to the pandemic which means you need to be prepared for any eventuality. So in this week’s tip of the week, @AndrewKorpela shares some top tips on how to make sure you're prepared for whatever is thrown at you next. https://t.co/9cKawLT6Q9
In his latest update, our CEO Nathan Coe shares our latest market insights, including an analysis of consumer demand and pricing, and reveals our plans for 2022. https://t.co/oyxwpJf2U1
With record numbers of new electric vehicle sales and, as we reveal in our latest blog, an electric vehicle being the fastest selling of any used vehicle in 2021, last year really was a victory for voltage 👇 https://t.co/j4Al3nByBL
In our latest Monthly Market Intelligence Report, we analyse the 3 key trends that came to define the automotive industry in 2021, record demand, the growth in used car prices and the acceleration of EV adoption 👉https://t.co/tVW6vpQjxm Will these trends continue through 2022? https://t.co/rITl15odBm
A quick summary of what we have covered in today's webinar from @ClarkRjoclark. https://t.co/QFgNQYhCR8
Prices then are still strong, but we are still seeing under-priced stock on our marketplace which means there is profit being left on the table. It's key then to monitor the live market prices and re-price to the live market value to avoid missing out on profit. https://t.co/3jGvyFVPIn

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