Diesel cars are suited to more than twice as many motorists as petrols, according to data from What Car?’s newly launched What Fuel? tool.
But hybrid vehicles, which currently account for just four per cent of the cars on UK roads, could be the right choice for a whopping 60% of drivers.
The What Fuel? tool, which can be embedded onto any website, analyses factors such as annual mileage, type of roads travelled on most often and most common individual journeys. It then uses this information to assess what fuel type is best suited, financially and environmentally, for each motorist.
Diesel cars have been the subject of huge negativity in the last 12 months, with emissions levels demonised and the Government’s lack of clarity over taxation causing mass confusion.
The What Fuel? tool was launched on whatcar, just before the UK’s biggest consumer motoring brand named the diesel-powered Volvo XC40 as its prestigious Car of the Year 2018 at its annual awards ceremony.
In its first week, more than 5800 motorists used the tool to find out what fuel type or powertrain they should buy in order to be most cost-effective and efficient. More than one in 10 (11%) found that a diesel was the optimal choice, compared with just 4% who were recommended a petrol car.
While the choice of viable electric cars is growing, range anxiety and infrastructure currently count against them. But hybrid cars’ combination of a greener electric motor coupled with the added protection of a combustion engine increasingly makes them an ideal compromise for many.
What Car? Editor, Steve Huntingford, said: “Recent research we carried out revealed that more than half of motorists find the most frustrating thing about buying a new car is the sheer amount of choice they have to wade through.
“The number of engines, models, colours, accessories, spec levels and deals on offer can feel completely overwhelming.
“The confusion is then compounded by the uncertainty over fuel types, taxation and the future direction of the motor industry.
“With electric cars and hybrids still a relatively new phenomenon and the Government causing uncertainty over the suitability of diesels, consumers are desperate for clarity. The What Fuel? tool is designed to cut through some of this noise.”
The What Fuel? tool consists of four simple questions to find out the driver’s typical mileage, driving style and environment. The tool’s recommendations are then calculated based on factors that affect a vehicle’s suitability to a driver, such as running costs and emissions.