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‘Government has to end the diesel confusion’

Editor-in-chief Steve Fowler looks at diesel, and thinks clarification is needed on its future

Opinion - diesel

One conversation I had recently sums up the confusion over diesel right now: a local car dealer told me of one customer who didn’t want a diesel because she was worried she wouldn’t be able to drive it into the local town centre.

Of course, there are no imminent plans to ban diesels from any town centre in the UK. But who knows if and when that might change? And, frankly, who knows which way local and national legislators might go when it comes to future taxation, too?

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Best diesel cars on sale

Therein lies the problem and the understandable confusion and nervousness over buying or owning a diesel car. So it’s no surprise sales are suffering and, as some experts predicted, values are falling.

For the record, here’s our view: for the moment, diesel remains a sensible choice for larger vehicles and for bigger mileages. But more than ever, if you’re buying (or helping someone buy) you’ve got to think hard, and do your maths, to work out what’s best.

In many cases, diesel won’t be the best choice, as has always been the case. What hasn’t always been the case is the number of genuinely exciting and viable alternatives: ultra-efficient petrols, mild and plug-in hybrids, plus EVs with ever-increasing ranges.

UK cities unlikely to issue blanket ban on diesel cars

So what for the future of diesel? In spite of rumours of a miracle cure for diesel’s emissions woes the long-term future in cars looks bleak.

In the short to medium term we need to hear from the Government on what it plans to do – for buyers and owners (although it has a track record of making announcements that confuse the issue more). We need clarity on the future of diesel and we need it now.

Do you think there is a future for diesel? Let us know below...

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