High diesel prices and pollution concerns put off potential buyers in Europe

We take it for granted that Europeans love diesels. This is quite a save statement if you're talking about countries like France or Spain, where diesel sales make up around 65 percent of all car sold. This might be changing, though, as recent changes in fuel prices has made the diesel vehicles less attractive. Since February, diesel has been more expensive than gasoline in Spain. The same shift happened in France in May and a similar situation is happening in Germany. This brings about at least two interesting situations.

First of all, the decline in car sales in Spain is affecting diesel cars more than petrol ones. The high diesel prices hurt, but a new registration tax scheme made for a milder decrease in sales of small and subcompact cars than in past months. A bit of surprising news comes from Germany, where one out of four diesel owners state that their next new car will likely be a gasoline vehicle, thanks in part to the complexity of owning a diesel and the high repair costs. Things even look worse for old models: those cars not fitted with Diesel Particulate Filters aren't likely to be purchased second hand (and will probably end up in Southern Europe), mostly due to the restrictions in some cities.

[Source: El PaĆ­s, Auto-Presse]

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