Is this the end of the road for diesel cars?

Diesel Car

Diesel vehicles have had a lot of negative publicity this year, with article after article predicting the death of diesel. In fact, a survey by Carbuyer found that reports on diesel emissions have put nearly two thirds (61%) of consumers off the idea of a diesel car.

In this article, we’ll investigate whether it really is the end for our diesel vehicles and what’s in store for diesel drivers in the future if they fail to make the switch.


Why are people moving away from diesel cars?

In light of the Volkswagen emissions scandal, numerous studies began looking into emissions and air pollution. A report from the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) found that modern diesel cars produce 10 times more toxic air pollution than heavy trucks in buses.

This is just one of many reports revealing the emissions issues with diesel vehicles. The rising concerns over air pollution, and their impact on the environment and public health, has seen demand for diesel cars plummet by a fifth, figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders revealed.

Half of all respondents in a recent survey by Autocar magazine said they’d choose petrol, hybrid or electric cars for their next buy. Six out of 10 expected to switch to petrol while a sixth would consider plug-ins.


What’s in store for diesel drivers?

The concern over emissions has resulted in numerous cities across the UK to announce plans for diesel charges. These charges include the London T-Charge, which will come into effect this October and will cost some diesel drivers – and older petrol owners – an extra £10 a day to drive in the centre of London. This will be on top of the £11.50 Congestion Charge.

Clean Air Zones will also be set up in 27 towns and cities across the UK, with several including plans to impose charges on older diesel vehicles.

The threat of higher and more frequent charges is another potential factor that is putting motorists off diesel cars, as they look to reduce their motoring costs.

Meanwhile, The Independent has reported that, over in France, the Government has said it will ban all petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040 to fulfill the country’s commitment under the Paris Climate Change Agreement.


Manufacturers turning away

But it isn’t just consumers that are shying away from diesels. In a bid to minimise its environmental impact and make cities cleaner, Volvo has announced that, from 2019, it will stop building models that have an internal combustion engine and instead make cars that will be partially or completely battery-powered. This will make Volvo the first mainstream car manufacturer to ditch combustion-only engines, This is Money reported.


While there’s no doubt over the magnitude of this news, we’ll have to wait and see if other car manufacturers follow suit.


Should you stick with diesel cars?

So, the big question many drivers are asking themselves is whether they should stick with diesel.

To help you make up your mind, here are some things to consider…

  • Are you a multi-car family. If so, one of your cars could be electric or hybrid to help offset your diesel
  • There are different levels of diesel ‘cleanliness’ but only recent versions can be deemed truly clean
  • It’s estimated that UK drivers have already lost £35 billion in depreciation with owners of pre-2008 diesels hardest hit
  • More stringent standards and better testing are on the way for diesels which will make sure they’re less polluting in the future; modern Euro 6 diesels are very different to the older models


Whether you’re looking for a petrol, diesel or hybrid vehicle as your next runaround, remember to check out second-hand buying tips before parting with any hard-earned cash.