Diesel controversy doesn’t dent car fuel choice – new AA Cars research finds

Diesel controversy doesn’t dent car fuel choice – new AA Cars research finds

  • Diesel sales appear to stay strong
  • 28% of drivers say next car will be diesel, just 1% down since May
  • Nearly 1 in 10 drivers favouring ‘green’ options
  • Only 9% say scandal has ‘put them off buying diesel’

New research for AA Cars suggests that faith in diesel cars is not being severely dented following the recent emissions scandal.

More than a quarter of car buyers (28%) say they will opt for a diesel motor – that’s just 1% down from a similar survey carried out in May and 2% down from December 2014.

Between December 2012 and December 2014, the number choosing diesel fell by 10%, but since then the decline has slowed.

Regionally, drivers in Northern Ireland are most likely to choose diesel (46%). Those in the South East (61%) and London (60%) are most likely to buy a petrol car.

Men are also much more likely to choose diesel (35%) compared with just a quarter (25%) of women. Drivers aged 65 and over are most likely to choose petrol, two-thirds (65%) doing so.

In fact, the findings from the AA-Populus Motoring Panel, responded to by over 27,600* drivers, shows that petrol power remains king with half of respondents (50%) choosing this option, higher than the 47% of December 2014 but also down from 51% since May.

Interest in hybrid or electric cars continues to rise with nearly 1 in 10 (9%) now choosing a ‘green’ option. Although numbers remain small, those who say they will opt for a pure electric vehicle has been rising but is just 1% of all respondents.

David Bruce, director of AA Cars, says: “Our own experience suggests that interest in diesel cars on the AA Cars website remains undiminished.

“What’s more, the research suggests that those not choosing diesel do so for a wide range of reasons, most likely being that their mileage is too low to justify the higher cost of buying a diesel – 37% saying that.

“Only 9% agree that the emissions scandal has put them off. More respondents (15%) were worried about potential health effects of diesel exhaust.”

The AA’s online used cars sales platform currently lists 87,530 diesel cars for sale out of approaching 200,000 cars in total. Mr Bruce adds: “Despite the controversy, used diesel car prices appear to be holding up well.”

Car fuel choice of those planning to change their car in the next three years:

Diesel controversy doesn’t dent car fuel choice – new AA Cars research finds

Diesel controversy doesn’t dent car fuel choice – new AA Cars research finds

* Populus received 27,662 responses from AA members to its online poll between 13-20 October 2015, asking the question: If you are planning to change your car in the next three years, which fuel do you expect your next car to use? Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. www.populus.co.uk

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