Diesel tax fears fuel a return to petrol
Buyers are increasingly returning to petrol in greater numbers than last year and this trend looks set to accelerate over the next 12 months.
An Independent Motors survey, in the Irish Independent Motors section today, also shows that diesel fuel maintains a loyal following.
Among people who own larger cars and SUVs, diesel is a firm favourite, according to the survey.
In some cases, there are significant swings to petrol, while in others there are small shifts, our snapshot of buying trends reveals.
But most distributors who participated in the survey expect the switch to petrol to pick up pace for the 172-reg period - and more dramatically again for next year.
Those surveyed were asked for individual petrol and diesel sales figures for the year to date.
They were also requested to supply what models/segments are changing most in their line-ups and their projections for diesel-petrol sales for the 172-reg period - and for next year.
A theme in response to the questionnaire was the as-yet-unknown impact of measures in the Budget.
Those who responded said that if diesel is penalised, growth in petrol and hybrids/electrics will be much stronger.
If there are changes, some feel the petrol mix could expand to 40pc next year.
The distributors point to greatest increases in petrol purchasing and forward orders among buyers of small hatchbacks and family cars so far this year.
However, some note a distinct move to compact and mid-size SUVs, too.
The shift to petrol is regarded as being attributable to uncertainty over diesel taxation in the near future.
While technological improvements in petrol engines that narrow road-tax, performance and MPG gap with diesel were also cited.
Full findings of the survey are contained in the Motors section.