dower james

Residual values for diesel vehicles in the UK have shown a “remarkable” recovery over the past three months, according to industry experts.

On average, used diesel car values improved by 0.3% in the last quarter, according to figures from industry analysts cap hpi.

The increase is part of a broader rise in used vehicle values, with prices up 0.5% on average at three years/60,000 miles.

James Dower, senior editor of Black Book at cap hpi, said: “The strength in the market is common across petrol, diesel and hybrid variants.

“The last three months have seen a remarkable recovery in diesel price performance. There is no doubt that diesel remains the right fuel choice for a significant number of drivers and figures would suggest that consumers are beginning to make their mind up about diesel cars rather than believe some of the more sensationalist headlines.”

Diesel vehicles have been under repeated attack from politicians and campaigners amid concerns over the health impact of their emissions, particularly in urban areas.

Manufacturers and supporters have argued that the latest Euro6 diesels are some of the cleanest engines available, but negative campaigns have tended to label all diesels as dirty.

During September, environmental activists seized a cargo ship carrying thousands of Volkswagen diesel cars as it approached a UK port, demanding that the manufacturer ‘takes its toxic cars back to Germany’.

In the face on ongoing negative publicity, UK diesel car sales are down 11.5%, but they still account for more than 40% of the new car market, with over 800,000 sold, while figures from cap suggest the used car market remains positive.

However, the search for alternatives has boosted alternative fuels, with Dower reporting that petrol-electric hybrids saw used prices increase for the fourth month in a row, with average values rising by 1.1%.

He said: “It's a growing market as we see more manufacturers releasing new models with hybrid powertrains and it appears that consumers have embraced the technology with few concerns over the life of a battery.”