Eco concerns drive used-car sales

The used-car market is being driven by alternative-fuel and eco-friendly vehicles, according to the latest research from British Car Auctions.

Its Pulse report shows that the small number put up for sale by fleet operators are averaging 122% of guide price, compared with 92% for petrol and diesel.

And while numbers are small, demand for used hybrid vehicles is increasing, partly as they do not require a change in fuelling habits or rely on an improvement in the alternative-fuel infrastructure.

Spokesman Tim Naylor said: "Last year, BCA suggested there needed to be a sea-change in public opinion before any kind of alternative fuels became acceptable, and it took the very high pump prices earlier this year and on-going economic woes to really kick-start interest among private buyers.

"Our 2008 used-car market report looked at a number of these issues in tandem, and confirmed that price is the leading motivator for change.

"It would appear that demand is continuing to rise because average values for hybrid/electric and LPG-powered cars are well ahead of market expectations, with the few examples BCA handle always attracting a flurry of bidding."

Copyright © Press Association 2008