History

Driver at wheel of car, turning over left shoulder. Caption: Is It Still OK To Buy a Diesel Car?Diesel engines can trace their roots all the way back to 1893 when Rudolf Diesel, aged 35, engineered what would form the basis of what we all know as the diesel engine today. This revolutionary engine came at a time when steam engines and horse driven carriages were the norm. This brand new engineering feat took the world by storm with an incredible 75% efficiency rating as opposed to just 10% efficiency for steam engines.

Fast forward to today, and diesel engines are just as relevant, transforming performance and efficiency for thousands of motorists with headline environmentally friendly figures to boot.

Environment

Caption: Euro 6 Engines are amongst the cleanest available with independent tests confirming great reductions in NOx and CO2 gasesAnd where better to begin than the environment? We all like to think we’re doing our bit for the environment but with so many stories, misconceptions and opinions floating around, it’s difficult to understand whether buying diesel is still a good idea. We’ll give you the straight talking facts to help you make an informed decision.

Way back in the Summer of 1992, the European Union took the stance that some big changes had to happen to improve air quality and human welfare with the introduction of the Euro 1 directive: legislation introduced to reduce nitrogen oxide, hydrocarbons, particulate matter and carbon monoxide emissions.

Fast forward 23 years to the Euro 6 directive in 2015, and the biggest shake up took place to tackle vehicle emissions head on. This is great news for diesels, in fact independent tests confirm vehicles with the latest Euro 6 diesel engines show great reductions in harmful NOx (Nitrogen Oxide) and CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) emissions.

Man stood next to orange car on car forecourt. Caption: Recent tax changes only apply to cars registered after 1st April 2017It doesn’t end there either. On the 1st April 2017, the UK government reshuffled the VED rates (vehicle tax to you and I) to the benefit of anyone considering a used diesel vehicle registered before that date. In most cases you’ll pay far less, or sometimes nothing, compared to a new diesel vehicle.

Today, all modern engines feature a DPF (diesel particulate filter) to trap all the soot particles, so smoky diesel engines are definitely a thing of the past. Travelling regularly at speeds above 40 mph ensures the filter can perform its regeneration and transform the soot collected to harmless ash.

This brings us neatly onto AdBlue technology. This latest innovation is designed to reduce NOx (Nitrogen Oxide) and NO2 (Nitrogen Dioxide) emissions further with a liquid Urea solution. When combined with the hot exhaust gases it helps create a chemical reaction to ensure only water vapour and nitrogen are released from the exhaust pipe, both completely harmless. This technology alone makes the used diesel car an environmentally friendly option when compared to its petrol-engined counterpart.

Performance

Silver MPV towing white caravanDrive 12,000 miles or more a year? A diesel-engined car will make perfect sense for you, with superior efficiency and torque. Torque is particularly important if you plan to tow a caravan or trailer as it will provide more pulling power and performance, particularly on long stretches of motorway and uphill sections. Torque and efficiency are complemented with turbocharging, an engineering feat that all modern diesel engines feature to reduce CO2 emissions, improve efficiency and enhance performance with less gear changes for a more relaxing journey.

Choosing diesel with your heart is more common than you might think. You’ll be excited to learn that today we have some of the best diesel engines available with the latest turbocharged units: some twin turbo, triple turbo or even quad turbo diesel engines that deliver phenomenal performance that blow the petrol competition away.

Future

Caption: In London Euro 6 diesel engine cars are exempt from the new 2019 Ultra Low Emissions Zone charge of £12.508th April 2019 – an important date if you regularly travel to London. This is the date the ULEZ (Ultra low emissions zone) commences, a system that recognises the advancement of Euro 6 diesel-engined vehicles, ensuring they are not subjected to the £12.50 additional charge to drive in to the capital.

So where does this leave us? The UK government announced in 2017 that the sale of new diesel cars will be banned from 2040 in a bid to improve air quality further. We’re still some way off electric vehicle technology becoming the mainstream, with a herculean challenge ahead to provide the infrastructure to make this possible.

Summary

Male driver at wheel of car turning over left shoulder with caption: Diesel produces less CO2 than petrolA used diesel car continues to be a sound choice if you’re looking for an environmentally friendly, economical and fun car to own. If you cover more than 12,000 miles a year then a used diesel car will be perfect for you.

Remember, if you choose a diesel registered in 2014 or later, it’s likely to have the latest Euro 6 diesel engine under the bonnet – one of the cleanest, most economical diesel engines, ever. It’s also worth remembering that if you choose a diesel car registered before the 1st April 2017, you’ll pay less VED (vehicle tax) in most cases.

Buying a used diesel car got a whole lot more exciting, which one will you choose?