Rising demand for small, petrol-engined cars has driven some used car models to appreciate in value over the past year, according to analysis by Cap HPI.

Examples include petrol variants of the Nissan Micra (10-17), Renault Twingo and Skoda Citigo. Each could have been purchased as a used vehicle, driven 10,000 miles in the last 12 months, and subsequently sold for more than the initial purchase price.

Overall used car values dropped by 0.6% in June. During the same month in 2017, black book live values dropped by an average of 1.4% for vehicles at the three-year and 60,000-mile point.

The 0.6% drop this year is the most positive movement recorded since 2009 during recovery from the recession.

The demand for smaller cars has also led to appreciation for selected models including the Kia Picanto, Smart Fortwo and Forfour.

Derren Martin, head of current valuations at Cap HPI, said: “The strength of the market is unusual, with almost unprecedented demand for some sectors. Usually, we only see models like these appreciate during recovery periods, post-recession. This phenomenon is currently driven purely by consumer desire for small, petrol engine vehicles.

“In the run-up to September, there is the possibility of further pre-registration activity due to WLTP – with some cars that are already built but with their CO2 emission figures increasing under the new testing guidelines making them unpalatable propositions post-1st September. These cars could well appear as cheap retail offerings, pre-registrations or they could find homes with the rental companies that are eager for more cars.

“Any or all of these scenarios could lead to pressure on residual values for those models affected. It is important to note however that these models are likely to be the exception rather than the rule.”