Dealers have a key role to play in educating consumers about the clean Euro 6 vehicles currently available in the marketplace.
That’s the view of Auto Trader COO Nathan Coe as he published the latest Auto Trader Market Report.
The report found that a quarter (24%) of consumers currently driving diesel cars will shift to petrol or electric vehicles the next time they buy a car. Almost half (47%) said they would stick with diesel while 26% were undecided.
Almost half (49%) of motorists said the messages on fuel types over the past year have made car buying more challenging and 35% agreed they did not understand the benefits of different fuel types.
Auto Trader revealed that the number of searches on its website for diesel cars plummeted in May this year following negative diesel media coverage.
In November last year diesel accounted for 71% of searches on Auto Trader compared to 26% for petrol. By May 2017 diesel took just 54% of search while petrol had increased to 43%. Diesel recovered one percentage point in August reaching 55%.
Used petrol prices have been growing at a stronger rate than diesel. Year on year the average used diesel car was up 2% to £14,000 while the average used petrol car had increased 9% to £10,000.
Coe, said consumers were confused about fuel types and dealers could help with this.
“The current fuel debate is only serving to confuse car buyers, and dealers must play a role alongside manufacturers in educating and helping them in their car buying journey – informing consumers of the facts, clarifying the differences between modern Euro 6 vehicles with older diesels, explaining scrappage schemes, and helping alleviate EV anxieties.
“Whilst 2040 is a long way off, manufacturers have made their level of commitment to electric vehicles clear. Today’s most successful dealers are those that embrace change early. In the coming years, those dealers that offer a range of EV, employ trained EV technicians, as well as contribute to the national charging infrastructure, will have a clear advantage in what is already a competitive marketplace,” he said.