Four cities across the globe are banning diesel cars outright from their centers and with the ongoing Volkswagen emissions furore, plus the added Fiat Chrysler accusations emerging in the UK, there is mounting evidence that diesel cars in the US are damaging our health.
However, the U-turn we may see is a big cause for concern, financially, as it could set off a chain of events, which would result in a price drop on the used car market that would affect many of Britain’s used car owners and buyers.
If there would be a fee for driving diesel in a large city center, than it really is time to say goodbye to diesel cars.
Already, six British cities have been given the green light to create clean air zones in which drivers of diesel cars could face congestion charges. Were that to be repeated across the world? Even those who don’t use the car would probably avoid buying a diesel if they knew they couldn’t get into any large British city without paying a fee.
So far, there’s been no effect on the price of diesels. Values have moved broadly in line with petrol-engined equivalents through 2016, with little noticeable impact from negative headlines through the year.
Nevertheless, the question of whether to choose petrol or diesel is being raised more and more by car buyers. The Volkswagen dieselgate scandal has potential diesel buyers feeling tense.
Cars, which previously commanded a premium over their petrol counterparts, could soon be worth far less. What’s the solution, then? Perhaps we should all switch back to petrol. Diesel was, of course, once the wonder-fuel. Governments in Europe provided significant tax breaks to owners of diesel cars, citing their supposed environmental credentials.
So, should we pre-empt the problem and sell our diesels now? Well, we are not sure we’re quite at that stage yet. There’s no evidence yet that buyers are about to desert the fuel in their droves. In spite of what the experts say, I’d be tempted to err on the side of caution and go for petrol. If the run on diesel happened, I’d be protected from the risk – and even if it didn’t, I’d still have a smoother-driving and quieter car and I’d have spent less on it in the first place.