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VW scandal deters 67% of motorists from diesel, Close Brothers Motor Finance report reveals

More than two-thirds of drivers (67%) say that they are less likely to purchase a diesel car after the VW scandal of 2015, according to an upcoming report from Close Brothers Motor Finance.

SMMT figures show that five years ago, diesel-powered motors were the nation’s vehicle of choice, commanding 52% of market share to petrol’s 45%.

The Government’s announcement of banning the sale of new non-hybrid or EV vehicles by 2040, twinned with the Volkswagen emissions scandal, saw 2017 sales figures plummet to 38%.

Close Brothers Motor Finance’s director of sales, Sean Kemple, said: “The ongoing decline in new diesel car registrations since the VW scandal in 2015 and government’s increased commitment to clean air through banning all fossil fuel cars by 2040 has made for a volatile trading environment."

Dealers have corroborated the news, with 45% saying customers have been “shunning diesel cars” due to the negative news, according to the upcoming Britain Under the Bonnet report.

When asked what type of car they are most likely to opt for, just 13% of our drivers said diesel.

However, there is likely to be a lag before this shift affects the used car market as strongly.

Previous research from the SMMT shows that there is a shift from new to used cars, as new car sales have continuously declined over the past year in comparison to used car sales.

Kemple said: “The number of days to takes to sell a car has remained static for petrol on used forecourts, with diesel suffering, and alternative fuels becoming the forecourt heroes."

However, Kemple insisted that "dealers remain confident".

He added: “Until this deadline draws closer there will still be demand for diesel cars, particularly from high mileage customers who value the fuel economy.”

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