Carwow has revealed that sales of diesel vehicles via its online platform rose in July as manufacturer offers enticed savvy car shoppers despite negative press and a fall in enquiries overall.
Alex Rose, head of trading at Carwow, told AM that the business had seen interest in diesel models drop by more than 25% since July 2016, but noted that sales figures had risen between June and July.
Rose claimed that despite the threats of additional congestion charges and tax hikes, diesel was “starting to regain popularity with UK drivers”.
He said: “Carwow has seen a gradual increase in interest in diesel models in July, accounting for 43% of sales, up 3% on June.
“This will be driven in no small part by additional buying incentives from manufacturers, with a 9% relative increase in savings offered on diesel models in July, compared to Q2.”
Offers aimed to rally the momentum of diesel sales following publication of the government’s draft plans to cut NOx emissions with its clean air plan, which could prompt a rise in VED road tax for diesel drivers before it brings a scrappage scheme, have been launched by manufacturers in recent weeks.
The effect has been that many diesel cars are cheaper, or just a fraction more expensive than their petrol equivalents for the first time.
Austin Collins, managing director of BuyaCar.co.uk, said that the climate had “presented motorists with an opportunity for drivers who are prepared to look beyond the scare stories”.
“There’s no question that it’s a buyers’ market for diesel cars, with more than 25% off some cars, which adds up to well over £5,000 in some cases.”
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BuyaCar.co.uk found that Audi was offering bigger discounts to buyers of its A3 diesel than those opting for the petrol version with a finance offer for the petrol A3 Sportback presenting a saving of at least £1,080, but the equivalent diesel qualifying for a £2,080 saving.
A pre-registered 2017 diesel-powered BMW 320d M Sport automatic, that had covered 5 miles, was listed on BuyaCar.co.uk for £30,000, meanwhile, a discount of £5,610 over the manufacturer’s price and £3,045 less than an equivalent petrol 320i M Sport automatic.