Skip advert
Advertisement

CO2 emissions rise as buyers turn backs on diesel

More low-emission diesels are “crucial” to reduce new-car CO2 emissions

The first increase in average new-car CO2 emissions in 14 years is being blamed on uncertainty about the future of diesel cars.

Figures uncovered by BuyaCar.co.uk show new average new-car CO2 emissions were 121.1g/km in the first 10 months of 2017 and are on course to exceed the 120.3g/km recorded in 2016.

Advertisement - Article continues below

In contrast, DVLA data shows that average CO2 emission had previously been falling by an average of 4.02g/km annually since 2003.

Dealers sold 16% fewer diesel cars in 2017 than 2016, following sustained negative media coverage, tax rises, stiffer parking charges and threats of inner-city driving bans and additional charges.

Diesel cars emit less CO2 than their petrol equivalents.

Tamzen Isacsson, communications director at the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), said: “If industry is to meet challenging CO2 targets, getting more of the latest low emission diesels onto our roads is crucial, as they can emit 20% less CO2 than the equivalent petrol models.”

She pointed to “confusion around government air-quality plans and taxation” as contributing to the diesel sales slump, warning that: ”If new diesel-car registrations continue on this negative trend, UK average new-car CO2 levels could indeed rise this year”.

A Department for Transport spokesman said: “We will seek to maintain ambitious targets and our leadership position, and will intervene firmly if not enough progress is being made.

“Our ambitious Clean Growth Strategy [...] includes investing nearly £1.5 billion in accelerating the rollout of ultra-low emission vehicles by 2020 – generating business opportunities and leading to cleaner air and lower greenhouse-gas emissions.”

Increases in diesel tax and the threat of road charging, or even bans, for diesel vehicles in large towns and cities are designed to reduce local air pollution, particularly nitrogen oxides and particulates. However, such policies have impacted attempts to reduce CO2 emissions.

BuyaCar.co.uk boss Austin Collins said: “Many customers are telling us that they want to avoid diesel, even if it means spending more on fuel.

“Some feel it’s best to avoid the perceived uncertainty surrounding diesel, especially with plenty of economical petrol, hybrid or electric models available; but the efficiency offered by diesel cars still makes them a good option for long-distance drivers or SUV buyers. Risk can be reduced with a finance package that protects you against a sudden drop in value, as well as by buying a newer Euro 6 emissions standard car.”

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement

Most Popular

All-new Audi A5: the sleek successor to the Audi A4
Audi A5 Avant front quarter
News
16 Jul 2024

All-new Audi A5: the sleek successor to the Audi A4

New Fiat Grande Panda: everything we know about Italy’s retro-inspired EV
Fiat Grande Panda front quarter
News
11 Jul 2024

New Fiat Grande Panda: everything we know about Italy’s retro-inspired EV

Top 10 best used small SUVs to buy
Best used small SUVs
Best cars
12 Jul 2024

Top 10 best used small SUVs to buy

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
26 Mar 2024

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Public EV charge point
Tips and advice
11 Jan 2023

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Tips and advice
17 May 2022

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
21 Mar 2024

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors

Top 10 best electric cars 2024
Best electric cars
Best cars
16 May 2024

Top 10 best electric cars 2024

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2024
The best cheap-to-run cars 2023
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2024

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2024
Fastest hot hatchbacks hero
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2024