The National Franchised Dealerships Association (NFDA) has delivered updated guidance for prospective diesel vehicle owners in the wake of government action to cut pollution.
The NFDA, which represents car and commercial vehicle retailers in the UK, has sought to reassure drivers about the long-term suitability of diesel vehicles. It has highlighted the benefits diesel car buyers can still enjoy and puts legislative and environmental concerns into context – read on to find out more.
Government regulations and Clean Air Zones
Since the release of UK Government’s highly publicised clean air strategy, there has been speculation that diesel cars might no longer be able to be driven through metropolitan areas. The NFDA notes though that the Government has stated that charging cars to enter a Clean Air Zone (CAZ) should be a measure of last resort for Local Authorities. All other alternatives should be exhausted first.
Furthermore, the strictest Clean Air Zones will not charge new diesel cars. Only cars older than 2015 (pre-Euro 6) will face penalties. The NFDA also says there are currently no Government plans to change diesel taxation in a way that will retrospectively punish motorists.
Diesel vehicle emissions
Cars emit a mixture of CO2, NOx (nitrous oxide) and particulates. NOx and particulates affect local air quality and are an urban challenge, and CO2 is a pollutant which causes global warming and is a threat to the earth. The NFDA points out that new diesel cars are, however, cleaner than ever.
By September 2018, all new cars will have passed a strict emission test carried out under real driving conditions before being sold. Cars made after 2015, are built to Euro 6 standards. This requires them to emit around a third of the NOx and a fifth of the particulates of a car built before 2009. Many diesel cars now have diesel particulate filters and selective catalytic reduction systems which reduce emissions.
And when it comes to air pollution, diesel cars aren’t the only culprit. In Greater London, diesel cars account for only 11% of NOx emissions, while petrol cars account for 7%. Other sources include industry, trains, gas boilers and many types of machinery.
Choosing the right car for you
As far as the industry is concerned, the advice to prospective car buyers remains the same as it has always been. Every driver should purchase the car best suited to their individual requirements, and in most cases, this means diesel for high-mileage drivers and petrol for low-mileage drivers. For short journeys and city drives, think petrol; for long distances and motorway commutes, think diesel.
Save thousands through car manufacturers’ scrappage schemes
Many manufacturers are offering drivers thousands of pounds off their next car through generous scrappage schemes. These allow drivers to trade in their older, more polluting cars for cleaner and more efficient new models. Most of these schemes will offer to scrap any car brand or model as long as it is over a certain age in return for a large discount on selected new models. Visit the JCT600 car scrappage scheme offers page to see the range of schemes being offered by manufacturers via JCT600 dealerships.