THE price differential between diesel and petrol doesn’t seem to have deterred car buyers.
Figures from the SMMT show that, in June, diesel registrations rose 4.5 per cent.
Diesel now takes 42.8 per cent of the market – 89,470 units in June – and it’s cars in the lowest tax band that are seeing some of the biggest gains.
Vehicles in the ‘band A’ bracket have chalked up a tenfold increase in sales over the past year. That’s models such as the Volkswagen Polo Bluemotion and SEAT Ibiza Ecomotive – basically, cars that emit less than 100g/km of CO2.
More are coming, with Smart already confirming it will sell a diesel-engined ForTwo that emits just 88g/km of CO2.
Overall, though, the figures do show that rising household bills are starting to influence buying decisions. ‘We are now seeing concerns about rising fuel bills and household costs dampening consumer confidence, leading to slower demand for new cars. This slow-down is not unexpected, but signals an increasingly tough retail environment,’ said Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive.
Yes, diesel is expensive, but so is petrol. It seems savvy car buyers are realising that burning oil will still see an overall saving, even with the extra in list prices – and that the environment just so happens to benefit is a happy consequence.