Average residual values for two- and three-year-old cars continue to fall in Europe, according to EurotaxGlass's indices.
The retail value of a two-year-old passenger car in Europe declined 0.1 of a percentage point to 67 percent of original price last quarter compared with a year earlier. For three-year-old cars, the drop was the same margin, to 49 percent of original price.
The decline in trade-in values for three-year-old cars was slightly greater, down 0.2 to 40 percent, according to EurotaxGlass's Fleet Index.
The continuing decline in residual values reflects falling new-car prices, said Rick Yarrow, head of eurocarprice.com. Yarrow's UK company analyzes EurotaxGlass's data on used-car transactions in 13 European countries.
'Actually, the overall average is dragged down by declines in the UK and Italian markets,' Yarrow said. 'Most other countries are static or showing small increases.'
The Netherlands, up 5.1 percent from a year ago, and Belgium, up 4.1 percent, show the strongest recovery. But France, Germany and Portugal are also higher.
Reversing a recent trend, used diesel-engine cars are widening their price premium over comparable gasoline vehicles. Two-year-old diesels have retail residual values of 69 percent compared with 65 percent for gasoline cars. For three-year-old cars, diesels are 53 percent of original price versus 48 percent for gasoline.
'Diesels are becoming increasingly popular with European new-car buyers and that's reflected among used-car buyers,' Yarrow said. 'The higher value for used diesels just goes to show that used-car buyers are more conscious of operating costs.'