It's usually taken as read within the motor industry that buyers of small cars prefer petrol engines over diesel ones, but new figures released by EurotaxGlass's suggests that public opinion is changing.
Two- and three-year old diesel versions of popular superminis such as the Ford Fiesta and Peugeot 206 have in the past tended to be worth about £200 more than their petrol equivalents. Over the last year, however, the premium has increased to £500 as buyer demand has increased.
The gradual increase in refinement of these cars has been part of the reason, but running cost issues are also a factor, as EurotaxGlass's Chief Car Editor Jeff Paterson explains:
"In particular, changes to passenger vehicle tax bands have focused the minds of consumers on the need to consider CO2 emissions when buying a car, with many diesels now bettering their petrol siblings by qualifying for a £35 per year tax disc.
"The trend is more striking in urban areas. The possibility of the London congestion charge being waived for vehicles which fall into the sub-120g/km category of CO2 emissions is a further reason for buyers in the south east to choose a modern diesel supermini over a petrol one."