Diesel cars have recently been demonised by headlines and news stories. All you hear about are new costs, emissions, and possible bans, but what’s the truth behind it all and why should you still be considering a diesel car?
Why the government has changed its mind on diesel cars
Opinions on diesel cars have seen a very big u-turn in terms of the official government position. On average, diesel cars have 20% lower CO2 emissions and a 20% better fuel economy in comparison to petrol cars. With the government attempting to attack the levels of pollution in our cities, there has been a big clamp on diesel cars. Diesel engines produce nitrogen oxides, which are a contributing factor to air pollution. This being said, car manufacturers are constantly improving emission standards on their cars. In fact, diesel cars from September 2015 are the cleanest in history. They’re being fitted with DPFs and systems that convert most of the NOx from the engine to nitrogen and water, which are harmless.
What are the new costs?
Unfortunately, what is coming with diesel cars are extra costs. New car tax regulations will be introduced as of April 2018. Previously, cars with CO2 emissions of 99g/km or less qualified for free road tax. In April, only zero-emissions cars costing less than £40,000 are free to tax. The government has announced that the first-year road tax (VED) for diesel cars would rise by one band and the company car tax rate would rise from 3% to 4%. On top of this, there will be the new Ultra Low Emission Zone coming to fruition in April 2019. This zone will replace the T-charge. This zone will require drivers of diesel cars that do not meet Euro 6 emissions standards to pay an extra £12.50. However, it’s not just diesel cars that these costs apply to – if you have a petrol vehicle that doesn’t comply with Euro 4 standards, you’ll also have to pay.
Why you should still consider a diesel car
Although it may seem like it, the government is not just attacking diesel cars. Many of these additional charges and changes apply to older petrol cars, and don’t apply to new diesel cars. There are more than 10 million diesel cars on our roads and they accounted for almost half of the new cars registered each year, so don’t let the ‘diesel dilemma’ scare you out of our car. In fact, regardless of the negative press, the fuel economy of diesel cars means that they still make more sense than petrol and hybrid models if you have a high annual mileage and do a lot of motorway driving.
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