THE recently introduced “toxin tax”, along with the potential for increased parking fees and a further tax hikes, has triggered a surge in the number of motorists trying to offload their diesel cars.
After announcements on Tuesday that ultra-low emission zones will come into force in 2019 – costing diesel car owners up to £20 per day – motorists are looking to flog their vehicles before the value of their diesel asset begins to plummet.
The Autumn Budget is expected to see diesel drivers penalised with higher tax rates, while as many as 15 major authorities are considering charging diesel drivers more for parking than petrol vehicles.
Already this month, just a few days after proposed charges were announced, 58 per cent of vehicle valuations processed by Motorway.co.uk were for diesel vehicles, despite this type of engine only making up roughly 30 per cent of the cars on Britain’s roads.
In the past four months, diesel cars have made up 57 per cent of all vehicles valued and sold by the site from 2010 models onward.
“Looking at 2010 car models onward [a sample of over 13,000 vehicle valuation requests], we have seen a 1 per cent increase every month in valuations for diesel cars since January, suggesting a market surge in consumers looking to sell their diesel car,” Motorway.co.uk co-founder Alex Buttle said.
“In April 2017, a huge 58 per cent of valuations were for people selling diesel cars, despite diesel cars only making up around 30 per cent of total cars on the road.
“We have seen the most pronounced spike in selling interest in diesel models of Ford, Vauxhall and VW, but what surprised us most was the pace of sales with many diesel car owners looking to offload their vehicle in 48 hours or less.”
Motorway.co.uk operates as an instant car purchasing company, which allows motorists to sell their vehicle at an agreed price, and have it collected free of charge.
But the sale does not require an individual consumer to purchase the car.
The vehicle is then taken by the company’s partner, Car Buying Group, to be auctioned off at a later date.
The statistics reveal that an increased number of diesel owners are keen to offload their vehicles through car buying sites such as Motorway.co.uk, suggesting that the second-hand market could become flooded.
While Buttle said that the value of diesel cars is yet to dramatically drop, he did note that car owners should be wary of a potential price fall should they look to offload their vehicles in future.
“We haven’t seen the value of diesel cars slipping dramatically yet and do not expect values to fall for several months, but at some point there will inevitably be a drop in used diesel car prices if demand falls off a cliff,” Buttle said.
“A diesel car price drop is likely to be passed onto any consumer looking to sell their diesel car with a significant fall in value.
“In terms of new car sales, we expect 2017 to be a huge year for petrol car sales with sales of new diesel models falling by up to 20 per cent.”
Under the so-called “toxin tax” announced this week, Mayor Sadiq Khan is set to introduce a £12.50 charge for high-polluting vehicles driving into London North and South circular, which will come into force in April 2019.
Charges of up to £20 a day are also expected to be rolled out in major cities right across the UK.
British motorists are furious at proposed new charges that will penalise the cars successive governments encouraged them to buy.
Diesel vehicles were heavily promoted by the Blair government, with the introduction of a lower vehicle tax from former Chancellor Gordon Brown in 2001.
It has since been proved Blair’s government were incorrect in their belief that diesel vehicles would produce lower CO2 emissions.