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Green cars command higher prices when sold

Green cars are commanding higher second-hand prices than other cars, says reports from two separate car auction companies.

Rising fuel prices and the effects of the credit crunch have given a boost to alternative fuels says vehicle auctioneers BCA. Alongside news that motorists are driving less, car sharing and even downsizing due to rising fuel costs, BCA says it appears that there is a sudden but blossoming interest in eco- and alternative fuels.

BCA’s Tim Naylor commented “The key issue for ‘green’, alternative fuelled cars is acceptability with the general motoring public, because they will drive the demand in the used market. It would appear demand is on the rise because prices for hybrid/electric and LPG powered cars are well ahead of other market sectors and expected guide prices.”

For instance a 2003 Vauxhall Vectra 1.8 LS Saloon Bi-Fuel (Petrol/LPG) fetched 154% more than the expected guide price.

Tim Naylor added “BCA’s own research – published in the 2007 Used Car Market Report – suggested there needed to be a sea-change in public opinion before any kind of ‘alternative’ fuels became acceptable. Perhaps we should have suggested a sea-change in prices at the fuel pumps would have a similar effect?”

This time last year, BCA asked nearly 3,000 UK motorists what they might do to reduce their carbon footprint. 32% said they would walk more and 25% said they would cut their journeys. 19% said they would consider a car with lower emissions and 16% that they would buy a smaller car.

Meanwhile, the latest monthly Market Analysis report from another auctions company, Manheim, shows that demand for fuel efficient vehicles has remained steady even though the slowdown reported in the UK wholesale used car market in May has continued into June.

The increase in average selling price within the fuel efficient Supermini segment in June, up £140 (+4.2%) compared with the previous month and by £106 (+3.1%) compared with June 2007, indicates that demand for these vehicles is steady.

However in the 4×4 segments both ‘soft roader’ vehicles and larger ‘off road’ vehicles experienced reductions in average prices compared with the previous month of 7.0% and 13.9% respectively.