Petrol vehicles see three times more sales as diesel

Petrol is the UK’s most popular used car fuel type accounting for three times as many sales as diesel during Q2.

According to figures released by Autorola, used petrol cars accounted for 60.6% of its Q2 online sales to wholesale buyers with diesel a distant second with 21.3% of sales. Hybrids and EVs comprised 7.9% and 10.2% respectively.

Despite the petrol sales dominance used prices have remained strong throughout 2023. Average prices in Q2 were £14,975, a rise of £51 over Q1 despite average age and mileage rising by four months and 1,041 miles during the second quarter to 45 months and 25,130 miles.

Autorola’s online wholesale platform mirrors this imbalance towards petrol with currently 63.4% of its 13,072 stock vehicles being petrol. “2023 has seen the biggest move to petrol and away from diesel we have experienced,” said Jon Mitchell Autorola’s group sales director.

“Dealers are reporting that many drivers unsure as to which fuel type of used car to buy are playing it safe and purchasing a petrol. That does not help the cause of EVs or hybrids, but it does mean that used car sales remain strong.”

However, used diesel prices in Q2 remained consistent despite the move to petrol. In Q2 average prices were £17,856 at an average of 51 months and 37,676 miles.

Mitchell added: “Despite being written off multiple times used diesel cars are still in demand and prices are strong even if they have reached their highest average age. Now that new car supply is slowly improving it will be interesting to see how used car trends will move following the September plate change.

“We may see the average age of used cars continuing to rise as extended contract cars work through the system, while prices may also slow down if volumes start to rise.”