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Have an old diesel? You may want to get rid of it now – Drivers wasting hundreds a year


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Diesel cars – Older vehicles cost hundreds in fuel annually

car owners have had a turbulent year – and it has just got a little bit worse. 

New data analysis from Kwik Fit has revealed the potential economic benefit of removing the oldest cars from UK roads

According to the analysis, based on the latest government national car population data, it has been revealed that replacing all the diesel cars that are more than 10 years old with a new model could save 173 million gallons of per year. 

Motorists in the UK are driving around 30.2 billion miles annually in approximately 3,476,000 cars – an average of 8,676 miles each – which were first registered in 2007 or before. 

Fuel economy in newer cars has improved dramatically over the past decade to the point that, if these same journeys were made in newer diesels, drivers would collectively save £947.8 million on fuel costs per year – or around £272 per driver. 

There would also be a significant reduction in HGV traffic as the fuel saving is equivalent to over 20,700 full loads of the largest fuel tankers, which carry 38,000 litres each. 

With the potential reduction in fuel consumption would come a significant drop in emissions as the older cars, which met Euro 4 emissions limits, would be replaced by those meeting Euro 6 requirements. 

Nitrous oxide (NOx) emissions from this group of cars would also fall by 8.2million kg (from an estimated 12.1million kg to 3.9 million kg) – a reduction of 68 per cent. 

Particulate matter (PM) would fall by 970,000 kg, an 80 per cent decrease, dropping from 1.2million kg to just over 240,000 kg.

Emissions produced by diesel cars are said to be responsible for the premature deaths of 40,000 annually. 

This conservative estimate is based on the older diesel being directly swapped for new ones, which would be unlikely as petrol-hybrid and electric cars may be favourable and lead to bigger savings. 


There has been a lot of discussion about the potential impact of a scrappage scheme

Roger Griggs, communications director for Kwik Fit


Switching all the old diesel for petrol cars would have both a positive and negative impact. 

According to the research, there would be an even bigger saving in emissions over the same mileage with NOx falling by 9.2 million kg, but PM would be the same. 

There would, however, be an increase of 24.3million kg of carbon monoxide emissions. 

Roger Griggs, communications director for Kwik Fit, said: “There has been a lot of discussion about the potential impact of a scrappage scheme in the fight to reduce emissions, and many manufacturers have been running their own individual incentives on new cars. 

“However, the environmental benefits of these incentives are unclear, as many of the vehicles traded in under these schemes may simply re-appear on the second-hand market. 

“This analysis reveals the impact which a national scrappage scheme could have on emissions, assuming the older diesel vehicles were permanently removed from the road and replaced with new diesel models.” 

One issue with replacing all the diesel cars, which are ten years or older, assuming each car costs £28,000, is that it would cost in excess of £97.3 billion.

Roger Griggs continues: “Clearly there would be a significant cost in replacing the oldest diesel cars and currently, this cost would be born solely by the individual motorist.

“Any incentives the government can give the private individual to move to more efficient vehicles could have a significant impact.  

“However, we know that for many, buying a new car is not possible and so we would encourage all owners to ensure that their car is running as efficiently as possible. 

“This will be helped by regular servicing, ensuring tyres are at the correct pressure and driving as smoothly as possible. 

“Not only will better fuel consumption help reduce emissions and thus provide long term benefits, it will also immediately start to save motorists money.”



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