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Diesel Cars Enter Their Twilight Years

A distinct shift away from diesel...

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Manufacturers of diesel cars are set to see a dramatic drop in sales amid the continuing uncertainty surrounding diesel-powered vehicles, according to a new survey.

Throughout August and September, Money4yourMotors, an independent online vehicle purchasing company, has been conducting a survey asking visitors to its site what their views are on diesel cars.

There has been much talk in the media over the last 12 months about the emissions from diesel engines. The associated health implications also hit the headlines amid the VW ‘diesel gate’ scandal and with the continuing rise in popularity of electric and hybrid vehicles the government recently announced an end to petrol and diesel car manufacturing from 2040.

Currently in the UK, diesel cars account for approximately 38% of all the cars on the road which is more than 12 million vehicles. Money4yourMotors wanted to find out what if any effect all these news articles are having on people’s purchasing decisions.

The survey of 315 Money4yourMotors customers revealed that the majority of people are having second thoughts about purchasing diesel cars.

A distinct shift away from diesel

In the survey two key questions were asked, how likely is it that your next car will be a diesel and how likely would you have been to buy a diesel car before the emission concerns were first raised.

The results show that there has been a clear shift in people’s thinking that is likely to lead to not only a drop in sales of diesels in the near future but also to result in the continuing fall in the resale price of diesel vehicles.

Fuel Economy is still key

The main reason people would buy a diesel in the future is overwhelmingly fuel economy, with almost 60% of respondents citing it as the main selling point. The government is considering a fuel duty increase on diesel fuel that could be introduced as early as the autumn budget of 2017. If implemented this could well see diesel cars further becoming a less attractive proposition as a price increase at the pump would hit owners hard and have the effect of negating any fuel economy benefits.

The reasons why people would not buy a diesel in the future is less clear-cut. Concern over pollution is the main factor closely followed by worry over depreciation.

Depreciation is a very real concern for current diesel owners with recent press reports stating that certain used diesel cars have lost as much as a quarter of their value since the start of the year.

With major manufacturers now starting to launch diesel scrappage schemes, the government giving local authorities 18 months to prepare their own plans for reducing localised air pollution which could see further targeted diesel scrappage schemes being launched in some of the countries most highly polluted urban areas and with further proposals for additional congestion charges in the pipeline, it feels that we are fast approaching a tipping point and that there will be a sea change in what people drive in the next few years.

It may not be that the diesel car has quite yet reached the end of the road but it is clear from the survey results that consumer opinion on diesels is changing and changing quickly.

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