Sales of diesel cars in Britain have overtaken petrol-driven vehicles for the first time, as drivers choose fuel efficiency over speed, research has shown.
Once only fit for the slow lane, research has revealed that diesels are at their most popular since they first hit British shores during the Second World War. The figures come from the SMMT (Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders) and show that a record breaking 50.6% of all new car registrations in July were for diesel cars, which is a massive rise of 11.8%. In the same period, sales for petrol cars declined by 13.2 per cent.
The move has been encouraged by the government’s Scrappage Scheme, which saw the rise of new diesel cars soar, but also fear of the double-dip recession that has made consumers tighten their belts and choose fuel efficiency over speed.. The fact that diesel engines can offer up to 20% more fuel efficiency than their petrol counterparts has been major selling point to cash-strapped Brits.
Research conducted by Nationwide Autocentre revealed that 86% of consumers have adopted at least one method of reducing their fuel consumption, which included 17% trading in their car for a more fuel efficient model.
While the price of petrol fluctuates wildly, the AA has estimated that it will be about two years before diesel prices start to climb again.