Diesels’ pollution credentials have been under extensive scrutinty for some time now. Diesel’s fall from grace has been fast. Many car buyers have been discouraged from buying vehicles that were not so long ago being flagged as the way forward. However, one positive effect has been a reduction in price of diesel cars. In fact, many diesels are now cheaper than their equivalent petrol models. But will people still buy them?

Increasing pressure

The number of diesels sold in recent months has plummeted in response to the negative press that the vehicles have been receiving. This has led to many dealers accumulating a larger stock of these cars than usual. According to the SMMT, diesel sales have dropped by 10% over the past year – that means some 67,000 fewer diesels were sold in the first six months of this year.

Many dealers are now keen to clear their forecourts of diesels. One way that they’re approaching this is to offer substantial discounts on diesel models. While lower running costs have traditional balanced the fact that diesels cost more than their petrol equivalents, it seems that balance is now shifting, with discounts for diesels meaning that they are in may circumstances now the cheaper option.

Bargain prices

Diesel vehicles such as the BMW 3 Series, Audi A3, Nissan Qashqai, Renault Kadjar and Ford S-Max now offer savings of £5,000 or more when compared with equivalent petrol models. Some price comparison websites say that the savings on diesel vehicles are double those available on the same model with a petrol engine.

The bargain prices show that garages and sellers simply have too many diesel vehicles in their stocks. They want to shift them, but are running into fears about pollution levels, especially for drivers in inner city areas. News reports of health scares potential tax rises and inner city areas surchargers have combined to cause drivers to shy away from diesel models. Motorists are instead opting for petrol, electric or even hybrid vehicles.

The great diesel revival?

Could the current discounts lead to a revival in diesel sales? Dealers are certainly keen to reassure drivers that they are buying vehicles that comply with the latest emission checks, after the chaos of the Volkswagen scandal. These vehicles are also exempt from the T-Charge that comes into force in London in October.

Despite this, a poll from This is Money found that just 37% of people intended to buy a diesel car when they next made a purchase, while 43% planned to opt for an unleaded petrol car. The rest were interested in electric or hybrid vehicles.

Finance deals

For those who are prepared to look beyond the scare stories, the current diesel discounts make for some very appealing prices. Using a PCP finance deal, which guarantees the value of the vehicle at the end of the loan agreement, means that drivers won’t face a massive loss even if the value of diesel vehicles continues to drop. As such, if you want to take a chance and grab a bargain, diesel might just be the way to go!

Would the current low prices tempt you to buy a diesel instead of a petrol model? Will they lead to a temporary revival of diesel cars? Leave a comment to share your thoughts.

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