Confusion over petrol and diesel guidelines behind declining sales, study suggests

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Carwow study suggests motorists are waiting for the dust to settle surrounding diesel

Declining new car registrations could be because of confusion over diesel regulations and the 2040 ban on internal combustion-engined cars, a new study suggests.

A study of 2,000 motorists by car buying site Carwow found that 20 per cent of drivers say they’re holding off on buying a new car until regulations surrounding petrol and diesel cars are clarified.

However, a further 20 per cent said that they wouldn’t consider buying a diesel because of fears of losing out financially ahead of the government’s ban on pure internal combustion-engined cars in 2040. That’s despite almost half incorrectly describing what the ban means.

With confusion clearly common among motorists, it’s perhaps unsurprising that a quarter of drivers said they would ignore government directives when looking for a new car.

Karen Hilton, head of sales and operations at Carwow, said: “There has been a lot of confusion for consumers about what action, if any, they should be taking with regards to their cars in reaction to new clean air policies.

“Now is the time for greater education and real clarity. Manufacturers have stepped up to the plate, not only producing lesser polluting diesel models but in launching scrappage schemes that allow drivers to part with older models.”

She added that it was time for the government to clarify plans for the future of diesel “so that consumers feel confident in making a decision about their next car”.

Official figures show that the number of diesel cars being sold in 2017 has dwindled massively, with the latest year-to-date figures show that sales are down almost 15 per cent on 2016.

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