Columns Henstock

Henstock: Diesel dilemma is over

Time 6:39 am, November 28, 2014

BCAWAS there really a time when selling a used diesel car to a motorist was a relatively onerous task? Years of exposure to almost agricultural diesel engines put off most motorists, who perceived them as sluggish,unresponsive and ‘dirty’, even while grudgingly admitting the benefits of cheaper running costs and longevity.

These days, thanks largely to some fantastic product from manufacturers, a diesel car is a premium item and a popular choice. Diesel-engined used cars represented 37 per cent of the market in the 2014 BCA Used Car Market consumer survey, a one per-cent rise, year-on-year.

Why the popularity? Much of it is down to the fleet market where it has been tax-efficient for company drivers to choose a diesel variant. Company operators remain the biggest buyers of new diesel cars. This has created a pool of desirable one-owner, well-specified used diesels that motorists want.

Motorists, of course, remain very cost-conscious in these post-recessionary times, with many still remembering the bitter sting of spiralling fuel costs a couple of years ago. While a used diesel is generally a little more expensive on a like-for-like basis, those prepared to take the long view see the lower running costs and better MPG as a good return on their investment.

Underlining this, the 2014 BCA consumer survey asked motorists what were the reasons they purchased a diesel.

The biggest response (51 per cent) was for the better fuel consumption, with ‘cheaper to run’ and ‘more reliable engine’ also scoring highly at 21 per cent and 18 per cent respectively. There were plenty of other positive findings too, all adding up to an attractive, profitable and burgeoning market place for retail dealers to service. There is certainly no dilemma for diesel these days!

Who is Simon Henstock? Simon is UK network operations director for BCA. Visit or call 0845 600 6644.

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