The first hybrid petrol-electric cars to arrive on the UK used car market are showing heavy depreciation as private buyers remain unconvinced about the new technology, says dealer price guide publisher Glass’s.

The company’s AutoProvision forecaster is predicting a dramatic 44% plunge in first-year values for Honda’s petrol-electric powered Insight, with 12-month old, 12,000-mile examples expected to retail at just £9,500 compared to a new list price of £17,000.

Honda is currently advertising ex-company, nearly new Insights on its website for under £10,000.

Values for Toyota’s hybrid-powered Prius fall even more rapidly, according to Glass’s.

One-year-old examples with 12,000 miles on the clock will retail at just £8,400, losing 56% of their original £16,000 list price.

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“Only those buyers who have done their homework are fully aware of the grants that are available for these cars and this means many prospective buyers are quickly put off by the relatively high list price,” said Glass’s forecasting editor Steve Crawshaw.

“While nobody should have paid full price for these cars after the government grants are taken into account, these cars are nevertheless suffering unusually high levels of depreciation.”

“There are concerns about potential repair bills for such innovative technology and, with modern diesel engines returning comparable levels of fuel efficiency, it is clear that buyers need to be particularly conscious of the environmental impact of emissions to make the investment,” Crawshaw added.

Such consumer uncertainty over hybrids is not apparent in the US. According to the consumer car price website, a top condition, year-old, 12,000-mile Insight retails for around $US17,000 compared with the current $20,740 new price while the 2001 Prius would retail at $19,600, compared with $20,480 new.