What is the future of diesel cars?
In the past, diesel was the fuel of choice. Consumers were encouraged to buy diesel cars and everybody thought that they would be saving money. However, with the recent Volkswagen emission scandal, what does that future hold for diesel cars?
This controversial event was soon followed by an announcement by Chancellor George Osborne.
He explained that the Government was going to postpone their planned removal of benefit-in-kind diesel 3% tax. This led to the fleet industry being slapped with a Class 1A and BIK insurance bill for £1.36 billion spread over the next 5 years.
However, despite diesel cars and their manufacturers falling from favour, we need to remember that consumers are always going to be concerned about the fuel efficiency of their cars, including the overall mpg they’ll receive.
Take for example this research undertaken last year by Parkers into the running costs of an Audi A4. They found that the cost of running the car over 10,000 miles per year for three years was £2,589 for petrol and £1,982.64 for diesel. This is obviously subject to the price of fuel at the time, but it does show a saving.
The one thing you need to remember is that diesel engines are more fuel-efficient compared to their petrol counterparts over longer journeys.
At the same time as this, most commercial users of fleet vehicles will have part of their mileage subsidised by their employer. If the company is going to benefit from lower mileage payments, then surely they’re more likely to continuing using diesel cars?
Another benefit for the fleet industry is that diesel engines don’t require as much maintenance as their petrol counterparts.
For example, they don’t need a spark plug ignition system that cuts down on servicing costs. This may have an impact on fleets that primarily use diesel-powered vehicles, especially those that regularly undertake longer journeys, or those that transport heavy loads.
Despite the fact that diesel engines may not need as much maintenance, it’s still important to have your vehicle regularly serviced to make sure it performs as economically as possible.
The technology that has helped develop electric and hybrid cars into what they are today has come on leaps and bounds. Consumers are becoming more aware of their impact on the environment around them and feel that these models are the way forward.
This may be the case for domestic drivers, but so far we believe that these are being held back from use within the fleet community. The lack of suitable models means that fleet owners are still using the traditional diesel and petrol vehicles.
This could change in the future as the technology advances, if you want to find out more about electric vehicles, then we recently wrote a guide you will find useful. You’ll be able to read more here.
In our opinion, the fate of the diesel engine is uncertain. We know that the manufacturers need to fully comply with regulations, but as consumers we understand that economy and fuel efficiency are key components too.
What do you think about the future of diesel vehicles? Do you think they’re going to have an impact on the fleet industry, or do you think there won’t be any visible impact?