Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Scramble for Second Hand Eco Cars

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Scramble for Second Hand Eco Cars

Article excerpt

Byline: Steve Hughes

MILLIONS of motorists are now chasing second-hand cars that use alternative fuels in a desperate bid to slash costs.

In their quest to make savings they are prepared to pay over the odds for them, sending the second-hand values of hybrids such as the Honda Civic and Toyota Prius soaring.

Latest figures from the UK's biggest car auctioneer, BCA, reveal that whilst second-hand values generally have fallen by 8%, the values of hybrids have risen by 22%.

This makes such cars worth an average of 30% more than their conventional petrol or diesel-powered equivalents and as demand increases, values will rise even further because of their growing scarcity.

Such cars advertised on dealer forecourts and the internet are snapped up immediately and many would-be buyers have even registered with potential sellers so that they can be first.

The reason for the stampede is partly high fuel prices but mainly the impending introduction of road taxes that will create formidable discrepancies between the cheapest and most expensive models.

Some cars have CO2 emissions that are so low they escape the annual road fund licence completely while in the case of the most polluting models the annual tax is about to rise by pounds 10 a week from seeing annual charges rise from pounds 400 to pounds 900.

BCA spokesman Tim Naylor says: "Demand is continuing to rise because average values for hybrid/electric and LPG powered cars are well ahead of market expectations, with the examples we handle always attracting a flurry of bidding."

Values from the latest BCA Pulse report show that the alternative fuelled vehicles entered for sale by fleet operators are averaging up to 122% of the guide price. In comparison, the average fleet values for petrol and diesel are currently around 92%.

Mr Naylor added "The hybrid electric/petrol models are definitely the flavour of the moment because there are no issues over fuel availability. …

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