While the anti-diesel rhetoric has turned a number of people away from diesel cars, an estimated 4m drivers remain convinced it is the right option for them and will be opting for diesel car next (13%), according to research from the Britain Under the Bonnet report from Close Brothers Motor Finance.
However, concerns about taxes and the ability to sell diesel cars have risen and are holding consumers back from making a purchase.
This comes at a time when car sales have suffered in the past two years, blamed on a global economic slowdown, political instability and confusion over fuel type. New diesel sales alone are 19.3% down so far this year.
Over a quarter of diesel drivers (27%) said they were holding off buying a car this year due to uncertainty caused by changing diesel legislation. The same proportion were put off by the uncertainty of the cost of owning a diesel car, while a third (33%) had concerns about the increasing cost of fuel.
In addition, there were concerns from a third of diesel drivers (33%) that they would have to pay more tax for having a diesel car, while 19% feared they would not be able to sell their car or trade it in for a new one.
The shift in trend has been felt by dealers too. Half (52%) have experienced a noticeable increase in the number of customers wanting more support when considering purchasing a diesel car.
A third (32%) have had to change stock to react to changes in the diesel market, with 37% reporting fewer diesel sales.
The research also found that fuel type was now the second most important consideration for drivers considering buying a new car, taking over from how economical the car is to run. The top concern was the price of the car.