For the first time, sales of diesel cars have stolen a 50 per cent share of the market. Petrol vehicles have for a long time dominated the motoring sector, but with increasing levels of fuel efficiency in diesel engines, this is rapidly changing.

While diesel prices tend to sit slightly higher than the prices of petrol, vehicles running on diesel fuel offer a better number of miles per gallon. In the long run, this can save road users a great deal of money as they get more road miles from the fuel in their tank.

Over the past year, petrol vehicle sales have continued to drop — reaching 15 per cent lower than at their peak. Conversely, the sales of diesel vehicles have risen by 35 per cent over the same period. Where models have both petrol and diesel versions available, the diesel sales have been outselling petrol by as much as eight to one.

The shift in the market has led car manufacturers to alter their habits. The greater demand for diesel vehicles is being matched by the manufacturers’ output in a bid to eradicate the need for waiting lists on popular models. Investment in diesel technologies is now widespread throughout motoring companies.

One reason for the sudden shift in sales is an effect of manufacturers’ efforts to eliminate the unattractive features of diesel powered automobiles. In the past, diesel vehicles have been slower to accelerate and considerably noisier. The efforts of motor companies to reduce these undesirable elements have been impressive and there are now a number of diesel vehicles which are nearly indistinguishable from comparative petrol models.

The increase in diesel sales is expected to continue to rise as road users become more conscious of the impact their driving has on the environment. Diesel cars commonly have lower emissions than petrol vehicles, with a surprising number of diesel vehicles now fitting into the lower tax band. A number of diesel hybrids are also exempt from such fees as the London Congestion Charge.

This means diesel cars combine environmental benefits with financial savings, offering motorists a way to go ‘ green’ without spending too much money. On top of this, insurance premiums will also be affected by the environmental status of your car and that means those with diesel cars should  compare motor insurance quotes to make sure they keep all of their motoring costs to a minimum.