After years of majority share the mighty diesel engine is now losing its grip on the market due to the rise in alternative fuelled hybrids, electric cars and the advances being made in petrol engine technology.

A recent comment from the Government suggest that after years of promoting diesel as a “clean” fuel they are now reviewing this with much comment over what action may be taken to make diesels less attractive.

Likely to be changing your car in 2017, which is best for you?

There are several key considerations that will help to determine which is the best option, offering the lowest running costs and peace of mind during your ownership;

  • Engine technology means that petrol engines are becoming more and more fuel efficient. The fuel economy is improving and getting closer to that of diesel alternatives, particularly in the small to medium cars.
  • If your annual mileage is less than 15000 it is likely that a petrol version of the same car will work out cheaper over three years as the diesel car will cost more to buy and more to maintain.
  • Higher mileage users will still be likely to plump for a diesel but always check as there are some strange anomalies in real world tests as to the real world “break even” point.
  • What is the most appropriate size vehicle? Each time a manufacturer introduces a new version of an existing model it gets bigger. The original Golf is similar in size to the current Polo. Have you fully used the space in the old car or have you effectively been carrying round fresh air for much of the vehicle’s life?
  • Always check the cost of the equivalent petrol engine model, with similar power output when looking for a new car, they are often £1000’s cheaper.
  • We are seeing more people opt for petrol in vehicles up to mid-sized SUV. Think Peugeot 3008, Audi Q5 size as the economies often work.

There is currently uncertainty over what action ultimately the authorities will take towards diesels. Some London Boroughs have already, or are considering, implementing increased parking permit rates for diesel cars as a measure to meet cleaner air targets.

The most unknown element at this stage is the impact any future legislation may have on residual values of diesel cars, if indeed any over and above the usual economic and supply influences.

The debate has only just started, there will be no wholesale ditching of diesel cars and current vehicles won’t become worthless overnight, but change is coming.

In conclusion, we recommend the following to make sure your next purchase best matches your personal needs;

  • Do your homework.
  • Check not only the official fuel economy figures but also the real-world comparisons. As part of the Vehicle Offers programme we are more than happy to provide the comparisons for RICS Members saving you some legwork at least!
  • If you haven’t done so previously, consider funding your next vehicle where the future value is not at risk. This can either be a Personal Contract Hire, where you simply hand the vehicle back, or a Personal Contract Purchase, where the end value is guaranteed but you have the option to hand it back if the real market value is less.

If you’re buying a new car now and its replacing a similar size car that’s over five years old, you will be more fuel efficient, emitting less pollutants and be more recyclable regardless of which fuel you ultimately go for!

Want to find out how we can help you? Get in touch via our website or give us a call on 01473 722020.