I have the impression that on many occasions you can recommend a diesel as being a better option, and I can fully understand why. The problem is, it seems to me, that there is a huge degree of uncertainty over diesels, with widespread negative publicity and many cities proposing to ban them. It doesn't really matter whether this negativity is justified. The "uncertainty" will kill any market. Not only do you have to worry about where you might be allowed to drive, but also whether there will be much demand for diesels in four or five years time, when you go to sell. So economically, diesels might be a better proposition, but it takes a brave person to make that choice.
Filed under petrol vs. diesel - Asked by Philip Donegan (Ballina) - Sun, 08 Apr 2018 16:14
Hi Philip and thanks for this,
You make some good points here, but the main one I'd like to focus on is the uncertainty. It is, without a doubt, reducing car sales right now, as people don't know what to do, and all we can do is present the facts. They are this:
1 - There are many motorists in Ireland for which there is no economic alternative to a diesel car. Those that travel long distances day in, day out, could not use an electric car. Plug-in hybrids would be useless to them as well as they only return good economy when regularly charged up. The latest non plug-in hybrids are more economical than ever on a long run, but still not as cheap to fuel as a good diesel. And let's not forget, the majority of drivers are buying used, so there's very little choice in the used market for anything other than conventional diesel or petrol.
2 - For another large number of Irish motorists, petrol power would be perfectly fine. We've been saying for years that too many people have diesel cars because that became the default after 2008. Regardless of air quality and health issues, diesels come with higher maintenance costs, especially if they aren't used at higher speeds regularly.
3 - It seems to have been lost in the conversation that the diesel bans being discussed are not for all diesels, but for older diesels that emit much higher levels of NOx and other pollutants.
4 - The Irish government needs to hurry up and let the country/industry know what it plans to do, for this uncertainty is killing the market full-stop, not just diesel power.
With all the above in mind, we will continue to help buyers choose a car based on their individual circumstances and for many that will still mean a diesel. For now.
I welcome thoughts and comments on this below. Would be great to get some feedback on what people think and whether they are holding off buying a car because of the uncertainty.