There is much confusion surrounding diesel cars at the moment. Once hailed as the environmentally friendly alternative to petrol cars, the government have since changed their message around diesel cars, seeing sales tumbling and leaving motorists wondering whether a return to petrol the safest option is. You'd be forgiven for being a little confused, so let's have a look at the issue in a bit more detail.
What's the Problem?
As governments and the public start to get more environmentally conscious, we are thinking more about greenhouse gases, particularly Carbon Dioxide, or CO2. Evidence suggests CO2 is linked to global warming, and internal combustion engines are allegedly responsible for generating a lot of it. Petrol engines emit more CO2 than diesel engines, so a few years back the government directed us all towards diesel cars. New research has since shown that diesels emit higher levels of NO2, or nitrogen dioxide, which is now thought to be worse for health and the environment than CO2.
Reasons to go Diesel
Diesel cars are known for their low-down torque and pulling power, as well as their superior fuel economy for those travelling higher mileages. Currently the price of diesel is within a couple of pence per litre of petrol, so if you drive a high mileage, a diesel car still makes good financial sense. Sales of new diesel cars have fallen quite significantly (23.5% reduction in diesel sales in February 2018 versus the same month in 2017), and there are some good deals at dealerships, but used values are remaining strong, and are likely to remain so as supply of good used diesel cars drops. Diesel cars still do generally emit less CO2 than petrol equivalents, so depending on your beliefs around greenhouse gases, you still might want to reduce your carbon footprint.
Reasons to Ditch Diesel
If you're environmentally aware than it's difficult to avoid the recent stories of health concerns surrounding diesel emissions. The government are now trying to actively discourage people from buying diesel, meaning that we're starting to see increases in car tax, and low emission zones in London that will see diesel car owners receiving hefty bills for driving into central London each day. In fact, older diesel cars will be banned from some areas altogether. This all sounds very gloomy, but on the upside, recent innovations in petrol engines have seen a raft of cars with small engines and turbos, which offer diesel-rivalling fuel economy and performance without the NO2 emissions. Plus, with used values of diesel models remaining strong, now could be the perfect time to sell up and try something else.
What about Electric and Hybrid?
Of course, future-looking buyers will be interested in all-electric and hybrid cars. Hybrid and electric technology have come on in leaps and bounds, and we are now starting to see electric cars with a long range, reducing the "range anxiety" worries that drivers have of running out of power before they get home. Not only are these cars much more welcome in central London and cheaper on your pocket in terms of car tax and recharging costs, but some fantastic used models are now finding their way into the nearly new and used markets. It's quite clear that the writing is on the wall for cars powered by fossil fuels such as petrol and diesel, so if you're brave enough then maybe it's time to embrace the future! If you still need that little safety blanket, there is still an excellent range of petrol/electric hybrid cars to give you the best of both worlds.
How do I Decide?
The most important thing is that the decision is yours. If you're not ready to go electric yet, then it's down to petrol or diesel. If you find yourself doing multiple long trips, you can reduce your impact on the environment by car sharing on the daily commute, or even walk or cycle instead of taking the car. You might find that you prefer the driving style of a petrol rather than a Diesel car, or vice versa.
If you would like some more advice, your experts at Thame Cars are always on hand and happy to help. We've got a large selection of petrol and Diesel cars for you to test drive, and perhaps even a few hybrids and electrics! We'll even buy your Diesel car from you if you'd like to sell. Feel free to pop in for a chat.