Is this the end for diesel? Record fuel prices and 2030 car ban putting drivers off

Petrol prices: Diesel drivers are being ‘ripped off’ says Fair Fuel UK

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The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders estimates there are around 13 million diesel cars on UK roads, making up around 37.1 percent of total cars. A recent survey also found that only five percent of motorists would look at purchasing a new diesel vehicle.

They largely pointed to negative news about diesel vehicles, most notably the Dieselgate scandal.

Only 21 percent of used car buyers would consider a diesel vehicle.

As a result, many more potential car buyers are looking at more environmentally friendly options, which could potentially spell an end for diesel vehicles.

A spokesperson from told that diesel cars may have run their course, especially with fuel prices rocketing.

They added: “There are a number of factors which have contributed to motorists’ avoidance of petrol and diesel vehicles. 

“The increase in fuel prices coupled with the increase in the availability has seen a huge surge in demand for both electric and hybrid vehicles.

“Cost of maintenance and environmental impact have also caused motorists to make the switch to electric.

“This is evidenced in the fact we have witnessed a 371 percent increase in demand for hybrid vehicles since the turn of the year – even in a time of global uncertainty and rising fuel prices.

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“It is clear the UK has set its sights on the EV market, significantly pushing down the demand for petrol and diesel motors many years ahead of the 2030 ban.”

According to the most recent RAC Fuel Watch data, diesel currently sits at 188.82p per litre, the highest ever recorded average price for the fuel.

This is more than 50p per litre more expensive than it was this time last year and more than 70p more expensive compared to prices in 2020.

Both the RAC and the AA have warned of prices continuing to rise as some areas of the UK have already seen petrol and diesel hitting £2 a litre.

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A number of issues have been identified as causing people to shift away from both petrol and diesel, in addition to high fuel costs.

The Government is set to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030, with a similar ban including hybrid cars being introduced five years later.

A ban on diesel car sales will also apply in Europe from 2035, after Members of the European Parliament voted in favour of banning ICE vehicles.

Emissions-based charging zones are also taking a toll on petrol and diesel car ownership.

For most Clean Air Zones, Low Emission Zones and the London ULEZ, a car needs to be a Euro 4 petrol model or younger or Euro 6 diesel model to comply with the emissions standards.

With plans to introduce more Clean Air Zones, as well as the proposed 2023 ULEZ expansion, some drivers may be priced off the road.

In the case of the London ULEZ, the AA estimated that a third of car owners could be priced off the road by daily charges.

The plans to extend the zone to almost all of Greater London would see thousands of diesel car owners affected, requiring them to pay £12.50 every day just to drive.

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