Petrol cars still beat diesel models in the popularity stakes despite the typically higher fuel economy of diesel engines, a recent study of UK motorists shows. asked over 1700 people; ‘When you next change your car, what type of fuel will you opt for?’ of which 35% opted for a petrol model compared to 25% for diesel.


High diesel prices may be making car buyers think twice about running a diesel car despite the typically strong fuel efficiency of these cars, claims the report. Such efficiency capabilities are helping to boost interest in hybrid models however, as 10% said they would buy a hybrid. Alternative fuel vehicles, including hybrids, claimed just 1.1% of the UK’s new car market in 2010.


Diesel cars attracted a higher percentage of the male vote, however, with 29% of men compared to 22 per cent of women saying they would choose a diesel car. A further 4% said they didn’t care about fuel type. Almost one in four (24%) respondents said they didn’t have any plans to change their car currently - a sign of the ongoing fragility of the UK economy.


Electric cars are failing to spark much interest with the public with just 2% saying they would opt for an electric car.


A spokesperson for, Richard Lawton, said: “Although diesel took 46.1% of the new car market last year, this figure included registrations from fleet buyers and business car users who favour diesel because of its fuel efficiency over long trips. Private buyers have shown that they still prefer petrol for its lower pence per litre cost, suitability to smaller cars and the quietness of petrol engines.


“It is interesting to see an increase in the number of motorists considering hybrid cars however. With a host of new hybrid models launching in the UK this year such as the Peugeot 3008 HYbrid4, the Honda Jazz hybrid and the Infiniti M35 hybrid, the hybrid sector is starting to attract mainstream interest,” he concludes.