Fears over emissions, scrappage schemes, and bans are failing to deter British drivers from diesel vehicles. Motoring journalist, Tim Barnes-Clay, reports.
According to findings from used vehicle database, Cazana, listings for used diesel vehicles have remained relatively in line with expectations, compared with petrol listings, throughout the last 18 months. Whereas some people would have predicted a rise in listings for second-hand diesel vehicles in the aftermath of Volkswagen’s diesel-gate scandal, this has not been the case. In fact, oil-burner listings have remained below petrol listings, except for May 2017 – coincidentally, when the UK government first announced plans for a diesel scrappage scheme. However, numbers quickly fell thereafter.
Listings for alternative fuel vehicles, however, have increased. In the past six months alone, there’s been a surge in the number of used hybrid petrol vehicles listed. In contrast, pure electric and hybrid diesel used car listings have remained consistent.
These statistics have been revealed during a time that the efficiency of plug-in hybrids is coming into question. It is widely speculated that plug-in hybrids return high fuel consumption and emissions, and may not be the efficient alternative to diesels that the industry had hoped.
Tom Wood, of Cazana, said that these figures demonstrate that diesel vehicle drivers are refusing to be turned off by negative connotations and ongoing media speculation. Instead, the used car market is behaving as close to normal as expected, with diesel and petrol vehicles being listed for sale at equal rate.
Wood said: “The future of diesel is still relatively uncertain in Britain, and drivers are not flocking to sell their diesels to the used car market, in favour of a more sustainable option. However, hybrid petrol vehicle listings are growing, indicating that motorists are continuing to take baby steps towards the fully electric vehicle.”
Wood concluded: “While the data does not indicate that Britain’s roads will be saturated with electric vehicles in the next few years, nor does it show that motorists are in a panic to rid themselves of diesel vehicles, while the future of this fuel type remains under speculation.”