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Used diesel buyers double down even as EV interest soars

Used diesel buyers double down even as EV interest soars

GROWING diesel sales in the online used car market may be powered by drivers wanting a car with a more desirable badge rather than availability or price, according to a new analysis of sales.

Popular online used car supermarket says that diesel sales have risen from 30% of all transactions in the summer to 38% in October and early November.

This is despite significantly higher availability of petrol cars, compared with diesel models, and BuyaCar customers tending to spend more when they buy a used diesel compared with a second hand EV.

The trend has emerged even as the explosion of interest in BEVs (battery electric vehicles) dominates the headlines, with more people than ever before searching specifically for EVs as soon as they arrive at

BuyaCar analysts suggest that brand image may be a contributing factor because Mercedes dominates the diesel choices of buyers on the site, whereas the likes of Vauxhall and Ford have the edge among petrol models, pushing Mercedes into sixth place.

Although EV prices are often cited as a barrier to adoption, it's notable that BuyaCar customers are choosing diesel cars that are typically more expensive than EVs bought on the site. And the diesels they choose also tend to have higher mileage than the cars of other fuel types bought on BuyaCar.

Another factor is a unique spike in activity for diesels at the four-year-old point, which is not seen for any other fuel type.

Christofer Lloyd, Editor of, said: "The strength of diesel sales may seem surprising at a time when all the headlines are about the rise and rise of electric cars.

"Even more unexpected is the fact that although EVs tend to have a reputation for being more expensive than cars with an internal combustion engine, our customers are spending more, on average, when they buy diesel than electric."

As the new and used car supply crisis continues, the all-sales average price of a car paid on rose to a record high of £17,410 in October.

But there was a £5,000 difference between the average £19,002 paid for a diesel and £14,029 for a petrol car. Electric cars bought on the site are currently going for an average of £18,249.

Christofer Lloyd said: "We have reported often on the enduring popularity of the Mercedes brand among BuyaCar's customers and that shows no sign of diminishing, even as the wider market changes.

"The majority of Mercedes buyers go with diesel, 31% of diesel buyers opt for a Mercedes and the top four sellers for diesel are all Mercedes, so the brand appears to have an outsized impact on the strength of diesel sales.

"But with the phasing out of all new diesel and petrol engines in the next few years it will be interesting to see whether Mercedes EVs can maintain the brand's particular appeal in the online used car market."

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