What’s in Store for Diesel Drivers in 2017?

By Ben Taylor
News entry dated 10th Jan 2017

Last year, we discussed potential trouble ahead for diesel drivers. It was a highly emotive subject – something proven by the 26 pages of comments we received about the article.

Now, 2017 seems set to be the year that diesel drivers are hit with a perfect storm of issues and difficulties, with chatter already building about the potential for tax hikes and even diesel vehicle bans in cities.

Many diesel drivers have a solid reason to feel aggrieved by the government’s rapidly evolving stance on diesel vehicles and the emissions they produce. Under the last Labour government, people were positively encouraged to switch to diesel and Gordon Brown even gave tax breaks to individuals purchasing them.

Of course, that’s all changed since evidence emerged that diesel vehicles are far more damaging to the environment. Now the present government finds itself in the awkward position of having to disincentivise the use of vehicles that people were once proactively encouraged to buy – in a country with over 10 Million diesel cars on the road.

Pollution

Last year, the High Court ruled that the government must urgently act to address air pollution. As we moved into 2017 this was brought into sharp focus with the news that it only took five days for London to breach its air pollution targets. Almost 10,000 annual deaths in London are being blamed on air pollution, with many experts considering diesels to be the main issue.

Last year, a campaigning group called Doctors Against Diesel called on the mayor to put in place a ban on diesel vehicles in London. While this may sound extreme, such bans are actually planned in Athens, Madrid and Paris within the next decade.

However, there are some major practicalities to consider – not least the fact that a government cannot simply ban vehicles that people have previously been encouraged to buy! This is why there are calls for scrappage schemes and incentives to persuade people to move to “cleaner” cars. However, these ideas would be costly and need to be incredibly broad in scope to placate everyone. As yet, the government hasn’t indicated any such schemes are under serious consideration.

Taxation

One thing we may realistically see later this year is tax increases for diesel vehicles. The government has frozen fuel duty for six years in a row, and one has to ponder whether this may come to an end in 2017.

Last year, Patrick McLoughlin, the Transport secretary at the time, indicated that taxes may have to rise to address diesel emissions. A fuel duty increase for diesel seems most likely here, which will be especially galling for long-term diesel drivers who will have seen Gordon Brown do exactly the opposite to incentivise diesel use back in 2001.

Diesel Recalls

In addition to all the uncertainty above, if you own a diesel car you may well find yourself needing to visit your dealership for a recall or a software tweak at some point in 2017.

Obviously, the Volkswagen group scandal springs immediately to mind, and owners of diesel VWs, Audis, Skodas, Seats and Porsches should already have been notified if they need to take their car in for recall work. Meanwhile, a class-action lawsuit involving 10,000 owners is in the works. If the action is successful and sets a legal precedent, this could see over a million owners of such cars being awarded £3000 in compensation – something that would cost the VW group £3.6 Billion.

VW Diesel

Aside from this however, it’s important to note that the diesel emissions scandal that broke in 2015 has now engulfed numerous other car manufacturers too.

While no other manufacturer has been implicated in the same way, “irregularities” have been found in diesel vehicles from Renault, Fiat and Jaguar, amongst many others, with plenty of companies including Mercedes-Benz and Opel set to conduct voluntary recalls on their vehicles too. It’s an almighty muddle – and that’s without beginning to consider that such recall work could have an impact on performance and fuel economy.

Is buying diesel now a bad idea?

Choosing a new diesel vehicle is certainly a bolder move than it once was. While it seems incredibly unlikely that the government could introduce any measures that would suddenly drastically disadvantage diesel drivers, the negative press alone could serve to make diesel cars less desirable and hit their resale values. Furthermore, a duty increase on diesel could eat into potential fuel economy savings.

If you travel long distances and select a vehicle with low enough emissions to qualify for low road tax (excise duty), a diesel car could still save you money in the short / medium term – but it’s fair to say it’s now a decision that warrants far more consideration than it once did. On the other hand, your options could be a potentially more polluting petrol car or an electric vehicle – and many consider these to still be in their relative infancy – so not an easy decision to make!

What do you think’s in store for diesel drivers in 2017? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

IMAGE CREDITS:

Mariordo Mario Roberto Duran Ortiz, VW Golf TDI Clean Diesel WAS 2010 8983, CC BY-SA 3.0

 

Comments

125 Comments on "What’s in Store for Diesel Drivers in 2017?"

avatar
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Sue Conlon
Sue Conlon

1 there must be ways of filtering diesel vehicle emissions to cut out the harmful parts.
2. Trucks Vans and HGVs will no longer be able to haul high quantities of freight if diesels are banned or have tax raised.

Filtering is by far the cheapest alternative and unless the total infrastructure changes worldwide then this will be the only way to combat the damaging effects.

even trains run on diesel, busses, farm vehicles etc etc, what about the HS2 and HS3 projects will these trains be electric or magnet monorail? mmmm don’t know.

steve collard
steve collard
I must be visually challenged. Why is this you ask? The reason is that I thought I had seen much of what some TV presenters have called agricultural vehicles. In fact diesel powered engines have been around for a very long time (I am over pension age so I do know) and I have a good memory. If asked, most people will think of tractors and combine harvesters etc. When I give it some thought, I think of various 4×4 vehicles such as Land Rover Defender and other previous short wheelbase vehicles. I have no qualifications in motor engineering however,… Read more »
Derek Tilford
Derek Tilford
As usual there is a certain amount of hysteria associated with the emotive diesel problem which in many cases has been blown out of all proportion. Yes I drive a diesel car and have done so for the last 20 years. As a member of the ADAC (German AA equivalent) I was very interested in their independent testing of vehicle emissions following the VW scandal. Of some 30 different car makes and models that because of their age should have complied with EU5, only two cars complied, I’m glad to say, my car is one of the two which does.… Read more »
Frank Jones
Frank Jones
I tow a caravan of 1400kg and I cannot see a petrol car having the same pulling power as my existing car (honda crv) was purposely chosen for that reason engine is a 2.2litre and gets me up and down the long drawn out hills that you can encounter of somebody who is afraid to put their foot down and crawl up the hill because they have seen either an artic or a caravan behind them so I need the extra power to keep me moving at a reasonable speed without stalling the same as the artic lorry, I dont… Read more »
Norman Askew
Norman Askew

I have an 11 yr old Skoda Fabia which I have found very reliable and also cheap to run. I’m thinking of going for a new one but this has put me in a dilemma. Do I go for the same car which has always been reliable or chance it and change? A lot of my mileage is short distance but I do make long runs to family in the north east and also airport runs which are all motorway.

Kelvin Rayson
Kelvin Rayson
We are again being screwed over by missinfomation and missleading goverment policies. My view regardless of who is at fault diesel drivers should not be punished for following goverment incentives or lies by manufactures. Fair enough anyone who now buys should know that they will have to pay higher costs but there ahould be aome kind of compensation or exemption for people who purchaced before now. After all you see it happening in the banking sectors n finance and in relation to this situation a prosoect of compensation in the USA. As usuall in this country the powers to be… Read more »
Martin Hamilton
Martin Hamilton
I swtiched from Diesel to Petrol in 2011 with only a smidgeon of the reasoning being the initial rumblings of polution issues with them. The main reason was that having spent more to buy diesels, as they aged I found some nasty and expensive surprises – dual mass flywheels; turbos; particulate filters. I and my family, who all ran diesels, spent £thousands repairing of the above problems but as of today all five of us now run conventional petrol engines – without turbos I might add. All were several £thousand cheaper to buy than the diesel equivalent, the engines of… Read more »
Kenneth Woodward
Kenneth Woodward
When I was lecturing at a college in the 1970s the advantages and disadvantages of petrol and diesel was discussed. it was decided to invite a rep from ICI. He informed us that diesel contained Benzine which was a cancer inducing chemical. years ago petrol engines would have a pinking noise and to eradicate this a chemical was produced to stop this pinking. The chemical had a very long name which was difficult to pronounce so it was cut short to 4 letters LEAD which was the middle 4 letters in the name. Diesel is far, far more dangerous than… Read more »
Mark Phillips
Mark Phillips
I’ve got a life, thanks Ken, and I’ve got a comment! It is not the consumers responsibility for pollution as they buy vehicles in good faith and according to the knowledge and laws of the day. My old Octavia may pollute more, but I can’t afford to buy anything similar in a petrol version with the same power and performance. I bought the car at a time when diesels were lauded, and it’s wrong for governments to impose penalties in the hope of forcing drivers to buy greener cars which they may not be able to afford. The onus should… Read more »
Peter Smith
Peter Smith
it seems very strange that while 10 downing st & all its lackys are telling the country about austerity & pollution from all our beloved diesel cars that they originally told us to buy because of the better fuel consumption, & even tho we’re now into the 2nd or maybe even 3rd generation of fuel saving diesels that are getting more to the gallon than smaller petrol cars ( our Mk4 Mondeo 2.0L TD Est does more than to the Gal than our sons 2013 Focus hatch 1.0L petrol ) we’re still watching our PM in her £1000 leather trousers… Read more »
Valerie Bearne
Valerie Bearne

As I can get at least 200 miles more per tankful on diesel than on petrol, is there not an advantage to the planet for a lower consumption of a precious fossil fuel? As there is less refinement needed to produce diesel than petrol, is there not an advantage to the environment for that?

I too was hoping for atomic or hydrogen or long range electric cars, and annoyed that oil companies could so easily buy up green technology patents in order to bury them.

Meanwhile I run a diesel car, as it is the best current option available.

Roy Forbes
Roy Forbes
Like many others, I am sure, we were persuaded ten years ago by the government of the day (Yes Mr Blair and Mr Brown – I mean you!!) to change our vehicles from petrol to diesel. That was despite the fact that we all used to see diesel vehicles emitting thick black smoke. Since then we have been persuaded to pay the higher purchase prices and put up with lesser performance in order to do our bit. All in the belief that diesels are now cleaner and more efficient. We have repeatedly found that diesels are not that much more… Read more »
Harry Godwin
Harry Godwin
Before I/we bought a replacement for a long-term (120k miles) Subaru Outback, which was written off after a tap up the back,, I asked some dealers if there were any whispers in the industry. None of them knew anything. A replacement petrol Outback was going to cost from £285 VED and might manage 30mpg. We bought a diesel Skoda Superb estate ,which costs £180 VED and delivers 50mpg. I know the argument is about NOx and diesels, but is the pollution from the Skoda less than the Subaru would have produced? I am very happy with my reduced running costs,… Read more »
Grahame Goodyer
Grahame Goodyer
Hi, I was never a diesel lover until it came to buying a new car in 2012. With the low emission tax breaks, I broke tradition of buying petrol and I bought a new Golf Bluemotion. Yes, one of now discredited cars. 3 years later, before the diesel scandal broke, based again on low running costs and emissions, I bought a new Audi A6 Diesel. So, am I a little p***** off. You bet. My Golf has yet to have its fix. My model isn’t expected to have the software, and in my case, hardware upgrade until later this year.… Read more »
ivan gill
ivan gill
I have sympathy with people buying diesel on environmental grounds.. Removing diesels or more fairly vehicles emitting high levels of NO2 is urgent, people’s lives are being cut short. If this results in a fall in 2nd hand prices of diesels this gives measurable damage to claimy against companies cheating emissions tests. For the Wortley realtime offenders like VW with emissions 20x + above official figures a buyback scheme would be completely in order. People are dying, I don’t understand the lack of outrage or the greater concern that buyers of these diesels might be inconvenienced. Governemnt should be funding… Read more »
Roger Hempel
Roger Hempel

Before they start banning diesel cars in our cities what about cleaning up the buses ,taxis, & vans/trucks. There are far more of these on the road in our cities then there are cars. Or doing more research into cleaner engines for both petrol & diesel.What about a better way to change cars over to LPG without losing so much space in the boot?!

David Shannon
David Shannon
Once upon a time, diesels were mis-sold to the general public by government and manufacturers. Increasing the cost of diesel fuel is punishing the innocent consumer. Where are the lawyers fighting for compensation? We want an incentive to switch. Reducing the value of a trade-in is not going to encourage removal of diesels, Trade-in values based on a comparable non-diesel vehicle would encourage replacement. All new diesel vehicles should be taxed to discourage new diesels on the road, with punitive first year levies and progressively higher levels to get older more pollutant vehicles off the road. The government need to… Read more »
Ralph Bragg
Ralph Bragg

I totally agree with the comments, so there is an issue with pollution in city centres, and what do we have, a large concentration of in city centre, buses and taxis,
But as usual, the cash cow motorist will be the easy target. Most diesels now do have an adblu system and the exhaust is virtually clean, so surely this must be an improvement. Battery vehicles are not the answer, expensive, poor range, battery life and cost to replace, why is hydrogen not being pursued as a fuel source, now that is zero emissions.

Anthony Jones
Anthony Jones

As VW owner how do I join this class-action lawsuit??

Philip Hicks
Philip Hicks

The motorist always gets ripped off by our Government, why not look at the pollution caused by wood burners/coal fires, in our town and villages going outside is choking and it can be smelt indoors as well, So dont pick on the motorist, look at the other causes as well….

Peter Gascoine
Peter Gascoine

Increasing taxation to diesel cars, be it on fuel or vehicle road tax will not solve the problem of particulate and NO2/Nox pollution, it will only boost HMG’s coffers and create an inflationary effect by increasing the cost of all road related transportation. This issue will only be solved by long term efforts to encourage more use of public transport and promote alternative fuels, I.e. electric vehicles.

anthony read
anthony read
I am seventy years old. As a child in a Ford popular driven by my Father following a lorry up a hill I was always told that diesels were a filthy and dirty fuel. The fuel has not changed but marketing has. We are told by “Government” not to smoke, not to drink to excess, get excercise etc so as dilligent citizens we comply., so when urged by “government” to buy a diesel car (followed by “facts” to prove the benefits) we then buy Diesel. I feel it is up to the government to re imburse ALL diesel drivers who… Read more »
Mark Phillips
Mark Phillips

I have a 17 year old Skoda Octavia diesel and my wife a nine year old estate version. We’ll run them until the wheels fall off then consider our options. For me, the responsibility for pollution lies with the manufacturers and governments, and they shouldn’t retrospectively impose financial penalties on those that run older vehicles. In time, older cars will disappear through wear and scrappage, so their polluting days are numbered anyway. If the authorities really want to reduce pollution, put cash into hydrogen engined cars – no pollution at all!

Geoffrey Timms
Geoffrey Timms

I have an Audi A6 which is a 2 litre petrol which I was going to update with a new one but unless I choose the high performance, high petrol consumption S6 or RS6 I can only buy a diesel!!!???

Carol Nash
Carol Nash

There is just one thing I don’t understand and that is my diesel car has lower emissions than a lot of petrol cars so why, just because it’s a diesel, should we be put at a disadvantage.

Robert Astill
Robert Astill

It is long overdue that diesel drivers should be paying more for road tax. They should be paying the same, if not more than petrol drivers, after all, it supposed to be a “road tax”.

Mark Tennent
Mark Tennent

I have been reading and contributed to this discussion, taking a neutral position and just supplying the real facts about diesel and petrol engines.

One thing is clear and easily demonstrated: diesel car drivers will believe anything that supports their view and pooh-pooh anything that tells them they are wrong. Re-read some of their comments and replace ‘my diesel vehicle’ with ‘my gun’.

They then sound the same as the NRA and gun lobby in the USA, complete with all the deaths that guns cause amongst civilians there.

derek turner
derek turner
All this lot is totally rubbish brought on by the oil companies because no body is buying as much petrol as they were As for diesel engine vehicle making a lot of people ILL true but in most cases only if they have lung problems so not every body is effected I don’t here the anti-diesel brigade telling us petrol is killing us all Now how about petrol engines, well the truth is a petrol engine running in a confined space will KILL YOU NO IF ARE’S BUTS THEY WILL KILL YOU IF any of you boffins out there doubt… Read more »
Brian Marshall
Brian Marshall

I have never liked diesel vehicles, would never buy diesel car. I also have 4KW Solar Panel array bought 6 years ago, and also run a Mondeo Estate with LPG gas conversion self financed . LPG vehicle give out NO emissions so Why are these vehicles not encouraged more by may be offering a LOWER road tax charge, I pay same as the petrol version.

M O'Regan
M O'Regan

Actually, there are emissions. Complete combustion will produce CO2 and water. Incomplete combustion can lead to other emissions, such as other hydrocarbons and soot.

One of my previous cars ran on LPG – loved it. Might get another.

Jeremy Morris
Jeremy Morris

LPG vehicles do give out emissions Brian. A simple internet search confirms this.

Carl Harding
Carl Harding

What about biodiesels and diesels that run on veggie oil? They are supposed to be a lot cleaner.

Derek Shanks
Derek Shanks

I totally agree with you, I also have an emission free LPG vehicle but like you get no road tax concessions on it. the government should encourage the use of LPG by giving a tax concession to anyone converting their vehicle.
Typical of the government backtracking on Diesel cars, encourage the use of them one minute then condemning them the next.

Alan MacKellaich
Alan MacKellaich

As a schoolboy in the 60s I was told to stay well clear of the school bus exhaust. Our House Master said breathing in one breath of it was the equivalent of smoking 20 cigarettes. The Labour Government knew all this when they pressed us to buy diesel engined cars. They also said they gave up on nuclear power in the 60s because they were anti nuclear, garbage, they discovered North Sea gas!

Steve Putman
Steve Putman
At the risk of sounding boring, I don’t see how the government can increase the cost of diesel fuel/tax without increasing the cost to all consumers, as with the increase in delivery/distribution costs, will come increases in the cost of food which is essential, and all consumer goods, as these need to be delivered mainly by road on diesel-powered lorries. Inflation would increase massively, followed by wage demands, strikes etc. It is not going to happen. When the VW fiasco emerged I sold my lovely 2.2 diesel Skoda Octavia, at about £1000 less than before the cheat news came out,… Read more »
Patricia Santer
Patricia Santer
My husband and I have both driven diesel cars for about the last 30 years: initially changed over because of the far superior mpg compared with petrol engines. So now he has a VW which is STILL waiting for the emissions modification: this in spite of having been in the workshop for repairs a few months back: could it not have been done then? And I have a Kia Cee’d – less than 4 years old, zero-rated for vehicle excise duty because of its low emissions status. isn’t this something of a spectacular U-turn? (Though I know that that the… Read more »
Tim Hill
Tim Hill
There seems to be a notable tendency to overlook two key aspects. The first is that the adverse publicity is against diesel cars rather than trucks. Modern trucks have adblue injection systems that neutralise almost all NO2. Urea injection for cars is already available and some car manufacturers are fitting it. Others will have to follow. The second is that petrol engine emissions also represent health risks, Particularly when cold or on part load, they emit carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons.and (direct injection petrol engines) particulates.. Anyone who lives in a location where slow moving petrol engined cars (and also motorcycles)… Read more »
Paul Launder
Paul Launder

Ban them i mean ALL BUSSES TAXI COACHES
Stop all traffic at light were no one is crossing or need to be stopped !!
look who is to blame you cant drive without stopping every 2 foot !! for no reason
take one day no taxis no busses then give me a emission reading on that day ! !

terence seal
terence seal
As a ex Londoner, these country bumpkins that have gentrified my City are a right pain in the exhaust. Why don’t they all move back to those little villages they grew up in. London is the capital, a badly laid out road network and also managed as to traffic flow. So Diesels are a problem, electric cars aren’t without their problems. The heavy metals used in the batteries could create a problem if leaked into the drains after a accident. The fire brigade hose scenes down and flushing the battery contents with it. There isn’t an alternative to travel within… Read more »
Gary Furness
Gary Furness

Hi, I have recently had my VW passatt cc recalled for an emissions software update, since then my engine is much more noisy and my fuel consumption has reduced by 15 to 20 miles to the gallon. Basically they have taken the Bluemotion out of my car. If anyone else can relate to this lets get a test on Top Gear and prove it.

terence seal
terence seal
Gary your engine can be reverted to the old settings, the trouble with your mpg is the weakness of the conversion of the fuel to power in the engine. I have had the same problem with my Range Rover, everytime you give up power for economy you lose the mechanical advantage. My RR was gutless and after a retune, I return 36mpg with power. VAG independent garages can program most systems. Find a specialist and restore your car to better economy. My aged neighbour’s VW Golf has the notices to change it, but they have not found a solution to… Read more »
Terence Scarff
Terence Scarff

Surely diesel cars are the tip of the iceberg with lorries, buses, vans etc being the major users of diesel fuel. Just think of the effect on all our lives if diesel fuel tax was significantly increased. All delivery costs would increased which would fuel (sorry for the pun) inflation and then wage demands etc, etc. We have experienced that in the past and really we don’t wont to go back there.

Margaret Rivers
Margaret Rivers
Motorhome drivers will be seriously at risk here! Very few motorhome are built on petrol vehicles. Most are based on the Fiat Ducato. This has forced the consideration of buying new E6 compliant van rather than getting 2nd hand. Already in London, inside the south circular anything other than E6 will attract the emissions charge after 2017. (I would not be able to take it home!) In Spain now there is also a CO2 emission charge which on purchase or import might be 4.5% but could be well above 7% for anything bigger than 3.5 tons. All becoming a tax… Read more »
terence seal
terence seal

I tend to agree that we are today’s source of back door taxation, the emissions aren’t the reason, it’s just taking as all for a ride. We are a captive donor to their empire. I have a old motor home (petrol) rumours are that it will become road tax and mot free. cannot wait.

Alan Lloyd
Alan Lloyd
I agree with all the recent comments. I am all in favour of doing my bit for the environment and in line with that I have a 4kW solar panel installation (self financed), but like most people I also consider the cost factors. I bought a 2ltr automatic VW diesel Passat Coupe CC 5yrs ago on the basis it was less than 6 months old, thus saving on the depreciation cost, but also that it would be economical to drive and, consistent with my motoring history of low but predominantly long distance driving, it should last me many years (hopefully… Read more »
Douglas Humphrey
Douglas Humphrey
Whilst I have no problem with diesels being banned from some cities (I live in a rural area and have no intention of driving into any uk city – I just hate them!) it is worrying to find out now that I as a diesel car driver could be forced into being a second class citizen because of my car type. Isn’t this discrimination? As I am retired and on a fixed income, any scrappage scheme would have to ensure that I received sufficient compensation to enable me to purchase a suitable non-diesel car outright as credit is not something… Read more »
terence seal
terence seal
Douglas, I agree with your comments. I have been to London 2 times in 10 years. I also have moved to the country, I have all the technology that London has. So our driving is controlled to shopping trips and health visits. We have no bus service worth using. The whole point of taking the shared school buses away was because some people are so over protective of their children. So now we have 4 times the buses doing the same run. We are left with pressure on the government in the future when I fully retire for more money… Read more »
Michael Wilkinson
Michael Wilkinson
I’ve been driving diesel vehicles for over 40 years simply because of their driving characteristics, relative reliability compared to petrol engines and greater economy. If the government feels the need to remove diesel vehicles from the road, and there is clear evidence, it would seem, that there really is a need to do so, then I’m happy to swap my car for a petrol or an electric one. The proviso is that the government bear the full cost of that exchange so that I’m not paying directly for their misguided enthusiasm for diesel cars all those years ago. a simple… Read more »
Peter Sniadowski
Peter Sniadowski
I am an active caravanner and, like most of my counterparts, I drive a diesel powered towcar. If this present government is now hell bent on demonising diesel cars I fear that their actions will have a huge and negative knock-on effect on what is, a growing leisure sector which generates millions of pounds in towns and cities all over the British Isles. One assumes that this demonising would extend to motorhomes, trucks and buses; indeed any class or type of vehicle that is currently diesel powered. Does this mean that bus fares will rise? (train fares keep on rising… Read more »
Phil Steer
Phil Steer
Having had a diesel engine VW since Oct 2010 on the Motability Scheme, I made the decision in July last year to ‘BUY’ the car off Motabilty. For me that car has everything I want, in terms of economy & also the useful gadgets that already ‘built-in’. Parking sensors are a godsend, (& my car has them front & back). I have loads more useful ‘built-in’ gadgets that, for me, are very helpful. Forget the emissions for a sec, I was told, when I was thinking about buying it, that the engine in my car would be good for AT… Read more »
Brian Springall
Brian Springall

If they are thinking of banning diesel vehicles from city centres, what happens to buses, lorries & taxis?

Cyril Levy
Cyril Levy
I , like many , was persuaded , against my will at the time , to give in and buy a diesel car to save the environment and travel further per litre . I’ve now been lied to and in theory my car is reducing in value daily and if what we read is true I’m going to be penalised further by either a fuel tax hike or not allowed into major cities which is my right . So diesel drivers are going to become lepers and not allowed to mix with petrol drivers because they followed government guidelines.. This… Read more »
John Poulier
John Poulier
Regarding your comment regarding “Double Taxation” We already have that on Fuel, We pay Excise Duty, Then we are Taxed on a Tax when VAT is added! I have known about Filthy Diesel vehicles for years and could never understand why the Government incentivised Diesel vehicles.. when they were such Filthy Polluting Vehicles! But as always The STUPIDITY of Government Ministers who know Nothing about Anything being Bent or Persuaded to make decisions based on Vested Interests is how this has come about! We need Diesel engines to run Trucks and Trains because they need the extra low down torque… Read more »
Malcolm Souter
Malcolm Souter
It seems as though everything we read is now anti-diesel with the ordinary motorist being the main butt of comment. A rise in the tax on diesel seems the most obvious step to be taken combined with the higher vehicle excise duty that is already coming into force. It must be remembered that 37% of all cars on the road are diesel. For a government to take a drastic anti-diesel stance therefore seems unlikely. The biggest problem for existing diesel car drivers, and we have three diesels in the family, is the value of the car when you want to… Read more »
Jeffrey Pickering
Jeffrey Pickering
Tom, you responded to my thoughts in an earlier ‘comment’. It had occurred to add a thought on that very point. You are absolutely correct, but what do we see from our Government? The provision and future development of age – ing, costly, ‘operational life limited’ ‘Nuclear Fission ‘ technology. Nuclear Fusion now in its third decade of development in five major centres around the Globe. It is the only safe and logical route and a focussed assault now with the known Scientific knowledge and skills and Finance would almost deliver by 2025. If that doesn’t epitomise the ‘woolly’ and… Read more »
Richard Phillips
Richard Phillips

As we were requested

Phil Ward
Phil Ward
A few years ago I ran a W123 Mercedes diesel estate on vegetable oil. When MOT tested, the emissions were lower than for virtually all other diesel engined vehicles. It also caused less blackening of the sump oil, so presumably was causing less engine wear. Remember, when Otto Diesel developed the compression ignition engine, there was no ‘diesel’, the fuel he used was vegetable oil. There is a range of similar hydrocarbon fuels, commonly referred to as kerosene, and diesel is one of these, the others most people know about are aviation fuel for jets, and central heating oil. The… Read more »
Jeffrey Pickering
Jeffrey Pickering
Tom, you responded to my thoughts in an earlier ‘comment’. It had occurred to add a thought on that very point, but was anxious not ‘over egg ‘ the point you have identified if I may quote you…: “I think you are a little simplistic. By all means research towards practical electric vehicles should be encouraged but their true value can only take over when the bulk of our electricity is no longer produced by fossil fuel fired power stations.” You are absolutely correct, but what do we see from our Government? The provision and future development of age –… Read more »
Kenn D Crossley
Kenn D Crossley

Hang on, it was a Ken Clarke Budget that first encouraged the use of of diesels. Labour simply continued along the same lines.

Alan Mossop
Alan Mossop

Would any legislation apply to all diesel vehicles??? Would transport companies have to replace diesel engine lorries with petrol versions. What about trains as well? Surely they cannot make moves against diesel cars only as they are only part of the pollution problem. It is always the private motorist who suffers is it not?

Terance McGonigle
Terance McGonigle
in the first instance I think the Government in the Short term should either pay compensation to all diesel car owners that have purchase in last 5 years as the general public have been persuaded under the pretext than diesel cars are better for the environment which now is proving to be False Information. Secondly I think they should introduce, in 10 years time a complete Ban on the sale/manufacture of diesel cars for personal use. In the mean time diesel drivers are already being penalised by paying more for diesel when it cost less to manufacture than petrol
Bob Northwood
Bob Northwood

While I can see the need for pollution control, I would like to know what might be planned for all the delivery vans, nearly all only diesel powered, and lorries/trucks. Also, what proportion of emissions come from these vehicles compared with cars?

john cleary
john cleary
ok this time i won’t moan but,my old diesil 4×4 is a neccesity for me, i live in the middle of the perthshire countryside,i am a care worker who has to get to some very inaccessable places,i am on a crap wage,so for me any scrapage scheme is no use as i cant afford to buy anything like new,in fact struggling to make ends meet i cant buy a bike so how about the goverment use our money to gas convert the engines since it was,as usual thier f##k up,at least i can continue to work cos much more levied… Read more »
Keith Bestwick
Keith Bestwick

Yet just another way for the government to make easy money, but where does it all go? Can we sue Gordon Brown for the duff information he gave the country? It’s about time the government were held accountable for there actions instead of the citizens having to pay the consequences..

Les Parry
Les Parry
Typical Government reaction. One of the reasons I first purchased a diesel car was pressure from the Government, in particular Gordon Brown (Tony Blair). This was the way to go for cleaner driving! Ha! Just like all the other promises that Government made in the early 2000’s. Lets attack Iraq, lets sell diesel cars, let’s screw the country in every other way. One thing, if judged on these things, they were a successful Government. The truth is that it was a shambles. If they are now going to slap taxes on vehicles that they were once encouraging people to buy,… Read more »
Graham Hardy
Graham Hardy
As usual this is a typical knee jerk reaction of the Government from supposed experts who change there mind depending on which way the wind blows or how they can use it to justify the grants they get from the Government at the time. The Government should promote companies to find solutions to the NOS issue, like a range of AdBlue conversions, not just try to ban diesels. And as many have stated, if they ban cars becasue they are diesel, then it should be a blanket ban for ALL diesels…vans, lorries, buses, trains, ships etc as those consume more… Read more »
Terence Wallis
Terence Wallis

Is this a UK class-action lawsuit & will UK Skoda owners be included?
I’m reluctant to have my engine fiddled with as I don’t want my 65 mpg to be upset.

terry sharman
terry sharman
Can anyone remember the London smogs many years age, this was caused by petrol cars and not so many then, no diesels, and coal fires helped. I have recently bought a Peugeot 508 sw diesel as this is only 1500 cc TD it does 55 miles to the gallon and tax is only £20, if I wanted to change it now I would Loose £9000 so it appears the worry has started to bite, with all this worry diesel card will soon be worthless , who is going to buy new ones? All lorries are diesels, so food and all… Read more »
Patrick Hughes
Patrick Hughes

we were all encouraged to buy diesel vehicles,and now find that we are going to be penalised,is it possiblev to mix diesel with another fuel to reduce the toxic emissions for example a mix with petrol,I once put petrol in my diesel car and were told that it was Ok as long as the mixture was weak,your thoughts.

alan johnson
alan johnson

This will hit caravanners who go for diesel cars for their better torque and greater weight. As many of them are pensioners I don’t see them changing their cars any time soon.

henry wilkie
henry wilkie

Britain diesel is already pays higher taxes than other countries and now we could be paying for higher taxes and I live on a low income. It will interesting to see what the government does to help those like me. There again, people like me are the ones that are forgotten and have to struggle with living in this two tier society. Thank you Gordon Brown for all of this. That another fine mess you got me in to.

Phil Richards
Phil Richards

I can understand the current issues. However present owners of diesel cars should not be penalised for choosing a car that was recommended to buy by the very institution that’s now considering measures to restrict ownership in the future. With evidence and information which now shows that diesel vehicles are more polluting and that armed with this information people still buy these vehicles, then it is these people that should be penalised.

Frederic Coutin
Frederic Coutin
It exists alternative to making diesel vehicle less polluting such as catalytic converters exhaust pipe, good maintenance of the vehicle, change of filters, less additive in the fuel itself by some unscrupulous company who try to make it cheaper. Have tests ever been made about comparing two identical model with two different fuel to know which one pollute the most? Have tests been made on two identical aged model vehicle with their thorough service history to find out which one pollute the most? Is the price hike not a financial stunt following VW scandal with their software tweaks? Pollution is… Read more »
Christopher Smith
Christopher Smith
If I was an MP, which I am not, having just read through all the comments, I would be in no doubt that the subject of diesel engine propulsion of all types, is, and will be a political hot potato for a long time ahead. Collectively the comments so, far cover all aspects of diesel use, and every one makes a valid point. It seems to me that a long term all party plan needs to be put in place. Covering every aspect, including pollution, manufacturing advances, how surplus diesel will be used following the reduction in vehicle consumption, and… Read more »
Derek Brown
Derek Brown
I purchased my diesel four years ago. The choice for me at the time was a diesel or hybrid petrol car. There was no inkling of adverse press at the time against diesel in fact more encouragement. I am now the villain for having made that choice. It is the government and the car manufacturers who should be villified for continuing to sell diesel cars. The simple way to cut diesel emmisions is to say no new diesel cars ( not lorries) are to be sold. The way to do that would be to make a huge (and I do… Read more »
GRAHAM CHADWICK
GRAHAM CHADWICK
It’s so disappointing to hear all that is being said about polluting Diesel engines. I have personally been driving Diesel engined cars long before the Government started encouraging drivers to switch. Which I can honestly say made me think that I had been making the correct choice all along. I have put up with the lower fuel economy from all my Diesel cars, compared with the Motor Manufacturers exaggerated figures notably, from Citroen. My present vehicle averages about 47-50mpg compared with the 74mpg quoted by Citroen. That is another point that Manufacturers should be taken to task with. And now… Read more »
Joseph Earing
Joseph Earing

It’s just another excuse to increase tax on the motorist, we were told buy a diesel vehicle it’s cleaner now we have they are saying no diesels are dirty polluters, we are going to increase the duty on diesel fuel always punishing the motorist.
But what about all other diesel vehicles buses, taxi’s, trains, boats are they all going to be banned? I think not the cost to the economy would be huge.

william turner
william turner

If the government are determined to get diesels off the road,dispite them being LESS polluting than the alternatives,I think they should pay for engine replacement with a petrol version,where possible.
What will happen to diesel trucks,buses and trains?They surely are the main contributers to pollution,especially in cities and towns!
Taylor ace

Peter Hooson
Peter Hooson

I invested in a Blue Tec diesel car last year accepting the idea that I lost luggage space to accept the additive storage tank. I benefited from lower car tax & parking permit as a result of lower co2 emissions but got hit with a surcharge from my London Council on the parking permit because it was a diesel car – no allowance for the blue tec technology which significantly reduces the harmful emissions(Nox &Sox ) of older diesel cars which do not comply with Euro 6.
Will any new taxes or restrictions be similarly indiscriminate?

Martin Wood
Martin Wood

just about all commercial vehicles are diesel. The biggest polluters are buses many of which are aging and badly serviced. I see many that belch out clouds of smoke which is terrible for the poor drivers behind them.

Keith Bestwick
Keith Bestwick

I am a disabled driver that needs a car that can carry my scooter and my family, these vehicles only come in a diesel option, so with these new ideas for banning diesels does that mean myself and others like me have to stay at home 24/7 and watch the world go by from my front window.

John Mosedale
John Mosedale

Sort out manufacturers. If the Government doesn’t want diesels, then don’t build or import them .
End of.

You cannot simply introduce a punitive tax on existing diesels that were bought in good faith.

And remember, cars don’t last forever, so the number of the worst polluting old diesels will fall quickly if you do nothing.

Suzanne Webb
Suzanne Webb

My sentiments entirely. If diesel car production was ended NOW the last of the diesel engine vehicles would be dead in 10-12 years, end of story.

Unfortunately, current diesel car owners would have to accept total devaluation of their vehicles, therefore forcing them to keep driving these vehicles until they “die”, which means more pollution (if, indeed, what we are told is true).

No doubt in 10 years time we will be told by those in power that the current government were too hasty.

Jeremy English
Jeremy English
I suspect a lot of this is to do with taxation. Governments use smoke and mirrors to disguise their true concerns and, in this case, have woken up to the fact that by promoting diesel cars over the past decade, they have reduced their tax intake from private motorists. It is significant that all this talk about diesel pollution concentrates on cars and not on commercial vehicles. It is a simple fact that the Government takes approximately half as much again in tax from a petrol-engined car that does 40 mpg where its otherwise-identical diesel equivalent does 60mpg. They are… Read more »
Raymond Foster
Raymond Foster

I saw this coming some while ago and changed to a Petrol XJ last year. I record all my fill ups and mileages and have found the 3 litre supercharged petrol model is only returning 21 mpg to the 3 litre twin turbo diesels 29 mpg. When you take into account the price hike on diesel there’ s not a lot of difference and over 40 BHP to put an even bigger smile on my face.

Sushma Rose
Sushma Rose

So annoying. I pay £30/year road tax. Wonder what it’ll be hiked up to? Like others, I’m really disappointed.

ALEX. MILLAR
ALEX. MILLAR

In EVERY European country I have driven in during the past several years the price of diesel fuel was always CHEAPER than the unleaded petrol and the price of petrol was ALWAYS the equivalent of several pence cheaper than in the UK.

One of my sons lives permanently in Denmark and confirms that the pice of road vehice fuel there continues to be cheaper than in the UK

In my opinion we are being taken for a very expensive ride by ill informed governments who pay too much attention to
the tree hugging green brigade.

Mark Tennent
Mark Tennent
Anyone who has bought a diesel car since 2010 is either completely out of touch or has deliberately chosen a vehicle that is a known killer. Before 2009 (ie Euro 5) and 2014 (Euro 6) and even back in the last century, there were reports on the dangers of diesel particulates and their effect on health. The problem being that diesel oil is very sooty when it burns, compared with the clean burning spirit called petrol. As for diesel trucks and buses, recent research has shown they actually emit less pollution and particulates than cars which can be up to… Read more »
Dan Holdsworth
Dan Holdsworth
You know, you can always depend on a politician to misunderstand any situation and act to make it worse. The pollution that people are getting so worried about is nitrogen oxide pollution, and surprise surprise, the solution already exists. The way you deal with nitrogen oxides is to use AdBlue and a catalyst to react them in the exhaust back to harmless chemicals like water and nitrogen. The reason this isn’t working quite as well as it should is because the diesel engine testing regime was fiddled to be much less like the real world than it should have been.… Read more »
James Case
James Case

What about emissions from Ships – MASSIVE!

Jeffrey Pickering
Jeffrey Pickering
Some thoughts from the past…. So much is wrong with Motor Taxation to include its impact on Fuel prices, it is difficult to know where to begin! The balanced comments that have been respectfully made in this article are, I believe correct. I have yet to meet a motorist (and I have held a licence since 1961) who hasn’t accepted the need for some Taxation. We had leaded and unleaded fuel in the 60’s. Leaded was quite rightly removed and a gallon of fuel was some three and sixpence- 17.5p a GALLON! Even then the Government was accused of over… Read more »
Tom Leeks
Tom Leeks

I like the style of the earlier part of your letter and I’ve held a licence even a few years longer than you state that you have, however when you get to the penultimate paragraph I think you are a little simplistic. By all means research towards practical electric vehicles should be encouraged but their true value can only take over when the bulk of our electricity is no longer produced by fossil fuel fired power stations. We are getting there but slowly, slowly.

john kinch
john kinch
they seem to forget about the ships they also run on diesel ,all the luxury liners that dock at Southampton and dover .The last petrol lorry was I think in the sixties they kept breaking down and caught fire .diesel is used in every other country in the world ,because it’s cheaper to produce ,and diesel cars /vans /lorries/trains/ ships last a lot longer , a diesel engine in a car can do 4to 500 thousand miles whereas a petrol engine run out of puff at 120;000 ,I worked at a haulage firm in London I was doing 2000 miles… Read more »
John Maddison
John Maddison

Your article only mentions diesel cars, however most commercial vehicles are diesel powered, so would these be treated separately ? , as any increase on diesel excise duty would affect everything we buy by increasing transportation costs nationwide.

John Shepherd
John Shepherd
It is all well & good hiking diesel fuel prices to discourage drivers/owners from using their vehicles – driving into cities and major towns but all that is going to achieve is punishment taxes for following the advice that has already been dished out that now is being totally shunned. What about all of those people that are on small/moderate fixed incomes that had already changed the various vehicles for ones with a higher specification Euro rating and probably the last that they will buy – they are now being told that it was all absolute tosh because the EXPERTS… Read more »
Tom Leeks
Tom Leeks
Your mention of small fixed income brings me to another point. I am retired and fall into that bracket. I will never buy a NEW car. I have never considered it to be economically sensible since I am a qualified mechanical engineer and a DIY mechanic I have never been troubled by high garage costs. Most of the previous letters from disgruntled owners are from those owning new cars. I think those in my category are likely to suffer even worse but are seldom if ever mentioned or considered. My present diesel car is running very reliably but is now… Read more »
Caroline Rendall
Caroline Rendall

I bought a second hand Citroen DS3 last year with £0 road tax because of it’s emission status. Apart from the fact that it’s a great car to drive, I thought I was doing the right thing for the environment— I’m a retired nurse & certainly can’t afford another car–I was hoping this would last me until I have to stop driving. How can the government penalise people like me for doing what was reccommendedat the time?

Mike Bainbridge
Mike Bainbridge
It’s a shame no Government representatives read these comments (as I am sure they don’t) but they contain a fair summary of opinion. In my view Joel has it in a nutshell. What about the trucks, buses, trains, diggers, ambulances, fire trucks, generators, compressors – even ships in some cities. ALL are necessary and cannot be banned. NO – the answer is to retro fit clean up systems. Adblue is used on many modern coaches and has significantly reduced the NOX output of these vehicles. Many diesels have exhaust gas recirculation which reduces particulate output. Another solution to particulate output… Read more »
Stephen Clarke
Stephen Clarke

Both I and my son bought diesel cars specifically because at the time, we were encouraged to do so by the government. Now, the residual values are being driven down by negative press and threatened tax and toll increases. The government must act honorably and introduce a significant scrappage scheme. I appreciate that a car hating Labour government does not understand the concept of acting honorably but one expects better from the Tories.

Dark Energy
Dark Energy

Clever solution: tax all diesel cars in UK because of pollution in London.

Barry Shandley
Barry Shandley

Further to my last comment , I see that many of the “Top-end” manufacturers are not worried about any future diesel restrictions. Rolls Royce, Bentley, Maserati etc. are all producing new models with diesel engines. Do they know something we don’t?

Barry Shandley
Barry Shandley

Is there no way to reduce diesel emissions, by using something akin to a catalytic converter?

Tom Leeks
Tom Leeks

Yes there probably is (see Mike Bainbridge comment earlier who’s view I wholeheartedly support). I just hope what has been suggested is not TOO expensive (I made an earlier comment about the difficulties of small fixed income earners; e.g. retirees). However a one time expense even if difficult will be better than perpetual payment of higher road tax and higher fuel tax for diesel users.

George Mckie
George Mckie
The comments on diesel cars are interesting. Has anyone thought out that diesels on the whole travel at least 25% furthur per litre of fuel. Has anyone also thought that many buses and taxis are major diesel polluters and that all the green ideas are causing congestion with empty bus lanes and cycle lanes taking up valuable road space and thus causing congestion on what were typically free flowing roads. My new diesel car has many new ideas to make it more efficient and quieter. It has DPF filters and an additive called Adblue to reduce the emissions to practically… Read more »
Chis Manvell
Chis Manvell
Where I live, in the Scottish Highlands with many hilly single track roads, my 2005 Picasso gives me about 30% more mpg than my 2003 Renault Scenic. Except in the tourist season, I can drive several miles without seeing another vehicle. Thus emissions are not really a problem, especially are there is usually plenty of wind. I visit towns and cities very rarely (less than 10 times a year). I can understand the banning of diesels in our overcrowded conurbations and cities but that would be extremely inconvenient for those of us who have to drive through urban areas to… Read more »
Margaret Thompson
Margaret Thompson

Once again Joe Public is shafted by GOVERNMENT! Liebour are mainly responsible but the Conservatives are just compounding the felony! If they get too draconian in their actions, they should bear in mind that there are millions of voters who would probably vote UKIP in revenge!

Dark Energy
Dark Energy

Global warming is scientifically linked to CO emission. This is a global planetary scale problem. Diesel engines produce less CO per mile than petrol engines. On the other hand OLDER Diesel engines, non-EU6 compliant, produce more contaminants like NOx and particulates than petrol engines, thus increasing contamination in large cities like London, Birmingham, Manchester, etc. This type of contamination does not affect the rest of the country. Why the problems of the big cities should affect the livelihood of the rest of the country?.

Adrian Wain
Adrian Wain
There seems to be confusion over Carbon Monoxide (CO) and Carbon Dioxide (CO2). Carbon Dioxide is the gas that creates global warming, not Carbon Monoxide. Diesel engines produce far less Carbon Monoxide than petrol engines due to the way the diesel is burnt in an excess of air. However, this has nothing to do with global warming or the concern the government now has over diesel engines. Diesel engines produce less Carbon Dioxide than petrol per kilometre but only becuase they burn less fuel per kilometre; diesel per se has the potential to produce more CO2 than petrol because it… Read more »
Dark Energy
Dark Energy

You are correct Adrian is that the sub index 2 in CO disappear from my posting. It is still true that being diesels more efficient than petrol due to the higher compression ratio they do produce less CO2 per kilometer than petrol engines. The thermal efficiency of an internal combustion engine increases as a power of the compression ratio.

Jenny Hudson
Jenny Hudson

Your article doesn’t mention Ford cars. Since 2003 I have had 2 diesel Fiestas from new. My current car is 6 years old and only has 19,000 on the clock and is on new condition. I know none of this matters if legislation comes in but at the great age of 72 at the moment selling this current car and buying a petrol model at a bigger
loss would be a big outlay. Would it be better to change now or wait and see what develops?

Stephen Down
Stephen Down
Jenny – if you buy a diesel car to do only 3,000 miles a year then I’m afraid you’ve bought the wrong car! Diesels cost more to buy than petrols, and so you need to be doing a reasonable mileage – around 10,000 miles a year on average – for them to start to become cost-effective. With such a low mileage, you’re not going to make any significant savings on fuel economy or CO2 emissions. But … it may be worse than that. Diesels are at their best on longer journeys, when they are at their most efficient. If you’re… Read more »
Tom Leeks
Tom Leeks

I completely agree Stephen so we should ban Diesel Taxis and delivery vans from cities. I live in London but outside the current congestion zone. When I have to travel to Central London I am somewhat horrified to see the proliferation of taxis usually about 50% of them with only a single passenger or even with none. Then there are the buses but I (hopefully) believe that is getting a little better by both retro fit and new design.

Simon McLeod
Simon McLeod
Yet again the blinkered idiots in power only see tax hikes as a means to remedy problems. Govt raises £bns in road tax every year but only spends 7p in every £ on road and transport, why not use more money from the taxes already paid by motorists to tackle the problem and in addition, compel all manufacturers to convert all diesel engines to accept adblue (the additive which is supposed counteract the harmful emissions). What about disabled people who are on benefits and have a diesel Motobility car, is the Govt going to increase their benefits to compensate the… Read more »
Keith Basson
Keith Basson
I recall gordon browns actions “based on scientific evidence ” deisel was better. At a time when your nose told us different! Now, in france deisel is alot cheaper than petrol so most cars are deisel so there will have to be a very good financial incentive for a change, Trade your car in for a electric one and get a massive price for your old diesel car or massive discount on a new electric one seems the the best option to get the government off the hook. But then in the uk we have problems in generating enough electrictity,… Read more »
Phil Dipple
Phil Dipple

How are they going to put charges up for diesel cars etc. when most if not all lorries and vans are diesel and they are the ones delivering goods into towns and doing the greatest mileages…. If the price of diesel goes up, the price of all goods go up as most are carried around in trucks. And what about Diesel trains ?? I bet they are not up to the stage six emissions regulations.

John Smedley
John Smedley

Never mind delivery vehicles.
What about Ambulances and Fire Engines.

wpDiscuz