Nearly a third of brokers expect sales of diesel cars to decrease this year following media scares, according to a survey by Paragon Car Finance.

Asked what impact recent calls for action on diesel vehicles would have on the market in 2017, 29% stated they expect a decrease in sales. This compares to just 10% who expect sales to increase. Nineteen per cent of respondents also stated they expect to see a decline in sales of petrol engine vehicles, compared to 29% who expect sales to grow.

Just as sales of diesel and petrol vehicles are expected to decline, so sales of electric and hybrid vehicles are expected to increase, with 77% of respondents expecting sales of electric vehicles to grow in 2017, and a 81% foresee hybrid vehicles increasing market share.

Over the longer term the results are even more stark. Asked how the market would look in five years’ time, 52% of respondents expect decreased sales of diesel engine vehicles with a further 29% expecting sales to decrease significantly. Fifty two per cent expect decreased sales of petrol vehicles.

Over the same period 91% of those surveyed expect electric vehicle sales to increase, and 62% expect significant growth in hybrid vehicle sales with a further 29% expecting moderate growth.

Julian Rance, head of Paragon Car Finance, said: “Urban pollution has been making headlines, putting diesel vehicles firmly in the spotlight and the latest figures from our Headlight Survey reveal that the pace of change in the car market is expected to grow. Nearly a third of brokers expect diesel sales to decline in 2017, while 81% expect diesel sales to decline over the next five years.

“This declining market share is reflected on the other side by expected growth in the sale of electric and hybrid vehicles. It is clear that, as a result of policy incentives such as road tax exemption, and due to increasing awareness of the environmental impact of diesel emissions, more and more consumers are willing to consider electric and hybrid vehicles. As the technology and infrastructure which supports such vehicles gets better, sales will further increase.”