Used diesel car values drop 6% as ‘Toxin Tax’ and scrappage schemes bite

    • Tom Leathes
    • 11th September 2017
    • Average value of diesel variants of most popular car models falls by 5.7% in Q3 vs. Q1 2017, while equivalent petrol models increased by 5% comparing same period
    • Diesel variants of some popular cars fell in value by up to 26%
    • Car scrappage scheme announcements and impending toxin taxes to blame for dive in diesel values

    London, 11th September 2017 — Data from car buying comparison website has shown a sharp decline in the value of popular diesel cars, with average values down 5.7% in Q3 2017 compared to Q1 2017. Valuations for some of the UK’s most popular diesel models are down by as much as 26%. analysed more than 24,000 used car valuations made since the start of the year, of ten of the most popular cars in the UK. Valuations for diesel models were then compared to valuations of equivalent petrol models. The data reveals that the average price of the petrol variants has increased by 5%, as demand for ‘dirty diesels’ falls away.

    average valuation of top 10 second hand cars

    Recent months have seen a constant stream of negative news for diesel vehicle owners. From the VW emissions scandal last year; to new scientific evidence on diesel’s impact on air quality; to continued announcements of ‘toxin taxes’ and diesel scrappage schemes. But this new data shows it is only in Q3 2017 where significant changesin diesel car values have begun to hit. The trends point to this drop accelerating further as the year progresses.

    The analysis shows a sharp drop in the average value of particular diesel car models – comparing Q3 prices with Q1 – such as the Vauxhall Corsa (26% drop) and the Audi A3 (11% drop). Consumers will feel the impact as significant value has been wiped from hundreds of thousands of UK cars.

    The following table shows average valuations for some of the UK’s most popular car models, comparing diesel and equivalent petrol variants.

    Average valuation of top 10 second hand cars, 2017
    Diesel and petrol variants
    Q1 2017 Q2 2017 Q3 2017 Change Q1-Q3
    Vehicle Model Diesel Petrol Diesel Petrol Diesel Petrol Diesel Petrol
    Audi A3 £5,373 £4,524 £5,265 £4,616 £4,766 £4,759 -11.30% 5.20%
    BMW 3-Series £7,395 £3,660 £7,968 £4,374 £6,939 £4,096 -6.18% 11.91%
    Ford Fiesta £2,584 £3,024 £2,954 £3,304 £2,435 £3,246 -5.77% 7.33%
    Ford Focus £3,320 £2,645 £3,312 £2,500 £3,222 £3,116 -2.98% 17.79%
    Nissan Juke £7,016 £7,300 £6,895 £7,281 £6,729 £6,368 -4.09% -12.77%
    Nissan Qashqai £7,861 £6,136 £7,722 £6,929 £7,902 £6,898 0.52% 12.40%
    Vauxhall Astra £2,949 £2,093 £2,508 £1,786 £2,426 £2,035 -17.75% -2.76%
    Vauxhall Corsa £2,160 £2,064 £1,488 £1,876 £1,592 £1,989 -26.31% -3.63%
    Volkswagen Golf £4,632 £4,261 £4,269 £3,658 £4,616 £4,587 -0.35% 7.65%
    Volkswagen Polo £2,518 £2,788 £3,318 £2,566 £2,556 £3,326 1.52% 19.30%
    Average £4,581 £3,849 £4,570 £3,889 £4,318 £4,042 -5.74% 5.00%

    Alex Buttle, director of car buying comparison website, comments:

    “Our analysis shows clearly that used diesel car prices are only going one way – and that’s down.

    “This year has already been a total shocker for diesel owners. And now that most major manufacturers have launched diesel scrappage schemes, it doesn’t look like it’s about to get any better. Diesel cars are really starting to look like white elephants.

    “We are now seeing savvy motorists choosing petrol, electric or hybrid used cars over diesel, and that’s already reflected in the value of second hand petrol vehicles starting to rise. That said, for those purely after cheap deals, it is definitely ‘bargain bucket bonanza’ time in the used diesel market.”

    For further information please contact:
    Jonny Stevens, Rhizome PR on 07977 119 579
    Alex Buttle, Marketing Director at

    Data methodology
    To compile these figures, took a sample of 24,338 vehicles valued through its website for 10 of the most popular used car makes in the UK car market. All ages and variants of each model were included in the analysis. The valuations used were provided in real-time by online car buyers compared on the website.