Customers turning away from diesel

Almost two-thirds of consumers have been put off buying a diesel car because of negative emissions.

A survey conducted by Carbuyer.co.uk found that 61% of respondents said negative reports about emissions would dissuade them from buying diesel, while 33% said they’d been unaffected by the negative stories and six per cent said they weren’t aware of any news.

Supporting that, research by Google showed a massive 127% increase in users looking for hybrid cars in the first three months of 2017, compared to the same period last year. In comparison, searches for diesel cars have grown by just nine per cent.

Meanwhile, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), said diesel sales were down 9.2% in February 2017 compared with February 2016, while sales of alternative-fuel vehicles such as hybrids and battery-powered cars were up 48.9% over the same period.

Carbuyer editor Stuart Milne, said, ‘Our poll and the SMMT’s sales data both suggest diesel’s unpopularity could well grow in the coming months. While diesel can still be a cost-effective choice for high-mileage motorists and those running larger cars, we regularly advise buyers that modern petrol, hybrid and plug-in vehicles can be a better option for shorter trips and urban motoring in particular.

‘There’s no immediate prospect of a diesel ban, diesel tax or diesel scrappage scheme in the UK, but we’ll continue to follow this story closely and keep our readers informed of the latest developments.’