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Should You buy a Diesel Car in the UK?

Diesel cars have long been a popular choice for UK motorists, but with the introduction of clean air zones, higher car tax and the government’s plans to eventually ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars, many people are now wondering whether it’s still worth buying a diesel car.

Pros and Cons of Purchasing Diesel Cars

Fuel Efficiency

Diesel cars tend to be more fuel-efficient than petrol cars, making them a good choice for longer journeys such as motorway driving. Diesel engines also have more torque than petrol engines, which can be useful for towing or carrying heavy loads.

In general, a new diesel car is more expensive to buy but cheaper to run, while a new petrol car is cheaper to buy but more expensive to run.


Although diesel cars usually offer better fuel economy, diesel fuel tends to be more expensive than petrol in the UK. Additionally, diesel engines may require specific maintenance, such as regular diesel particulate filter (DPF) cleaning, (the filter that captures and stores exhaust soot in order to reduce emissions from diesel cars) which can add to the overall cost of ownership.

Resale Value

Diesel cars have experienced a decline in demand due to environmental concerns and government regulations. As a result, their resale value has declined. If you plan to sell, trade-in, or even take out a loan on your vehicle in the near future, it is worth considering the potential impact these regulations may have on the future value of your car.

Environmental Impact

Diesel cars tend to have higher fuel efficiency and lower CO2 emissions than petrol cars, but they also produce more nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM), which is harmful to our health and the environment. Recently, the UK government has implemented stricter regulations to improve air quality, including higher taxes and charges for diesel vehicles.

Petrol cars usually have better acceleration and lower noise levels than diesel cars, but they also consume more fuel and emit more CO2, which contributes to global warming.

If you are concerned about the environmental impact of your car, it may be worth considering alternative fuel options such as electric or maybe even hybrid.


The UK government has already implemented stricter regulations to improve air quality, which include punitive costs in owning a diesel vehicle. They have also set more ambitious targets to reduce emissions and improve air quality, which will further punish diesel drivers.

As a part of this initiative, there have been discussions about potential bans on diesel vehicles in certain areas or at specific times. Implementation of these rules and regulations could impact your driving experience, barring you from certain areas and in-turn the resale value of your vehicle.


Despite these drawbacks, there are still benefits to buying a diesel car, especially if you regularly cover a lot of motorway miles or need to tow heavy loads. Additionally, the latest diesel cars have been developed to produce fewer emissions and meet the Euro 6 emissions standard, which reduces the risk of being caught out by additional fees for driving a diesel car in clean air zones.

Whether or not you should buy a diesel car in the UK depends on your individual needs and circumstances. If you do a lot of motorway driving or need to tow heavy loads, a diesel car may be a good choice. However, if you primarily drive in urban areas and do less than 12,000 miles a year, or are concerned about air pollution, you may want to consider alternative fuel options such as a hybrid or electric car.