Diesel cars are holding their appeal in the used market and even winning over one in three buyers who initially set their sights on petrol power.
That's according to the latest data from the online car supermarket buyacar.co.uk after comparing searches for cars with actual orders placed for delivery.
Buyacar analysts compared the initial intentions of buyers searching for a deal with the cars they eventually ordered. They found that diesels made up 34% of all sales, despite accounting for just 26% of searches.
Further analysis shows that the popularity of diesel is not driven by purchase price as motorists are also paying significantly more for diesel cars than their petrol counterparts.
The average price paid for a diesel car on buyacar.co.uk is consistently more than £3,000 higher so far this year than for a petrol variant. In January the average price paid for a diesel was £15,400 - that's £3,638 more than for a petrol car. So far this month the difference has been £3,402.
Despite significant improvements in petrol engine efficiency over recent years, it is clear that the economic advantage of diesel for many motorists - due to diesel models' greater fuel efficiency and consequently lower overall fuel bills - remains persuasive during their research, leading to many more diesel purchases than were initially intended.
The figures also suggest that motorists are currently not fazed by government announcements that new internal combustion engine cars will be banned within the decade.
Despite wider concerns over diesel's impact on air quality in cities, the enduring popularity of diesel cars indicates that motorists remain hard-headed when it comes to the undeniable economic benefits over time of choosing diesel for those who cover above average mileages.
Christofer Lloyd, Editor of buyacar.co.uk, said: "While it's no surprise that diesel retains a loyal core fanbase we were interested to see how many of our customers arrive looking for a petrol car but end up ordering a diesel.
"Any initial suspicion that this might be because diesels are generally out of favour and therefore offered more cheaply is quickly dispelled by the fact that a typical diesel sold on buyacar.co.uk is significantly more expensive than a petrol variant. This mirrors the fact that diesel models typically cost more than petrol equivalents when new.
"Of course, diesel continues to make economic sense for a large proportion of the motoring population who clearly understand that the initial price premium is more than made up for by less frequent stops at the pump for those who cover reasonably high mileages.
"And although this is the final decade of the new internal combustion engine in Britain and many other places in the world, those benefits clearly outweigh any concerns that their cars may eventually depreciate more quickly as the date for phasing out new ones approaches."
*Article Source www.buyacar.co.uk