Diesel cars run by companies in the UK fall by 17.6%

London’s ULEZ has also had a big impact on diesel car numbers in the capital.

Bristol diesel vehicle ban
Bristol diesel vehicle ban

The number of diesel cars owned by UK companies has fallen by 17.6 per cent in the first quarter of this year, new data has shown.

Figures from the Department for Transport (DfT) show that the companies ran 1.006 million diesel cars a year ago, but that has since fallen to 0.829 million in the first three months of 2022.

At the same time, the number of privately-owned diesel cars has fallen from 11.143 million to 10.952 million over the same period, a drop of 1.7 per cent.

In the heart of London, where the Ultra Low Emissions Zone has seen charges applied to all but the very latest and cleanest diesel models, private diesel car ownership has dropped from 155,274 to 116,796.

Jack Cousens, the AA’s head of roads policy, said: “Today’s official vehicle licensing statistics signal further how what was once the ‘dash for diesel’ has become the demise of the diesel car.

“Not so long ago, car owners were encouraged to buy diesel models to cut CO2 emissions and reduce their costs through diesel’s better fuel efficiency. Many older car owners bought one for what they thought would be their last car in retirement.”

In the first half of this year, sales of new diesel cars are less than half of those for fully electric vehicles. Between January and June, some 115,249 electric vehicles were registered – significantly more than the 83,874 diesel and mild-hybrid cars, according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

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