“Long live diesel!” Telegram readers defend outdated cars

Woman putting diesel fuel in her car at the gas station.  North Yorkshire, United Kingdom - Wayne HUTCHINSON / Alamy Stock Photo

Woman putting diesel fuel in her car at the gas station. North Yorkshire, United Kingdom – Wayne HUTCHINSON / Alamy Stock Photo

Driving a diesel car is getting more and more punishing. Where diesel was once king and politicians advocated in response to tackling CO2 emissions, car owners now suffer from fuel prices rising at a faster rate than gasoline and the ever-rising threat of emissions fees.

Yet Telegraph readers remain reluctant to abandon diesel engines. While concerns were raised about the human health effects of older diesel engines, many praised their vehicles’ range, reliability and affordability.

Read on to see what they had to say and join the discussion in the comments below.


A vehicle’s range and kilometers per gallon are high priority issues for vehicle owners. Readers who need their cars for long trips said their diesel vehicles are unrivaled in range and efficiency.

@Heuchter MacTeuchter He said: “I recently took the diesel Jag XF to Scotland to see my family and attend my daughter’s MA graduation in Edinburgh.

“About seven hours each way (compared to the five hours usually spent each way to get to/from Heathrow/airport), with two people in the car, with enough fuel to get around while we’re standing, the total cost is about £100 each way there or per leg per person. Less than £50.

“Try making this trip with an EV on the same day – the truth is, without taking much longer to recharge, you can’t say anything about the anxiety involved.”

@Christopher Mosele He said he had a 2011 Passat and was able to drive a tank of diesel from Harrow to Italy over the Alps. While returning with his luggage full of wine and olive oil and 3 passengers, St. He can cross the Bernard pass without difficulty.”

@Paul Miller “He said he bought a 10-year-old 2-liter VW Passat estate diesel for £9,000 at 32,000 miles per hour in April. These VW engines will go over 200,000 miles. Lots of interior space and with the rear seats down, I’m trying to carry my 65” Sony TV in its original box. don’t worry enough… and I’m getting 45-50 mpg…”

health concerns

Readers are split on the health impact of diesel vehicles compared to other fuels, and one reader demands that diesels be “scrapped”.

@Mike Machinery He said: “Although I’m very fit overall – I’ve completed several half marathons and 10-mile road races – I suffer from asthma, often triggered by air pollution. In 2015, one particular attack nearly killed me, and many years ago my mother died at a very young age.

“Diesel particles are notorious for causing or exacerbating all manner of health conditions, including irritation to the nose and eyes, problems with lung function and breathing, lung inflammation even in healthy people, DNA damage and cancer. The sooner the diesels are delivered to the junkyard and the history books, the better.”

But @AJ Sargent he said: “As an asthmatic, I disagree. The most harmful particles come from brake pad dust. While living in Uxbridge I checked the air pollution monitor and was surprised to find that the most harmful pollutants were not from the exhaust. The EV brakes are the same, it’s just a major shortcoming.”

@Tim Poole pointed out the changing attitudes of governments: “Government in 2007: Buy diesel. Government in 2020: Don’t buy diesel.

“The problem is that most of these 2007 diesels still run. They have much higher MPG and lower CO2 per mile than equivalent petrol cars. They have DPF and EGR systems – and if well maintained they run whistle clean. Sadiq now in London It doesn’t allow them to enter.

“Diesel was a victim of his own success and now a victim of the government’s failure.”

@Paul Miller He added: “I agree that particulate concerns are justified in older diesel engines, but I would argue that it is only a concern in the urban/urban high-density living and traffic environment. In the countryside or small country towns these concerns are minor – although I don’t run to school, I actually walk instead) – Long live diesel!”

‘If not broken’

Many have questioned whether forcing a working diesel vehicle to replace a new one is truly a greener option because of the environmental impact of the manufacturing process.

HAMBURG, GERMANY - MARCH 19: Crushed cars including Audi and Volkswagen diesel EURO 4 - Alexander Koerner/Getty Images

HAMBURG, GERMANY – MARCH 19: Crushed cars including Audi and Volkswagen diesel EURO 4 – Alexander Koerner/Getty Images

@John Bower He said: “I know a lot of people who plan to use their perfect diesel 4×4 until they die or their vehicle. In fact, keeping an old car in good condition through repair and maintenance is much more environmentally sustainable than buying a new car and scrapping the old one.”

@Queenie Cole He added: “I can’t say I’m a fan of the diesel car but I don’t believe in replacing them if they’re still working. Surely it’s better for the environment to use items until they break down rather than throwing them away and replacing them with new ones? I live in the area that will soon be part of the newly expanded Ulez region and will have to absorb it. But I will never vote for Sadiq Khan or the Labor Party again.”

EVs remain an obscure and expensive option

Telegraph readers remain unconvinced about electric vehicles, as an increasing number of initiatives are being implemented, such as the expansion of Ulez, to encourage drivers to buy more environmentally friendly vehicles. One reader who owns an EV says this will be his last.

@Lucille Barker He said: “I live in a terraced house with no charging on the street or on the street. I regularly ask electric car owners as they sit in their cars waiting for them to charge, and the universal response has been negative. They find the whole experience of owning an electric car complex and stressful.

“I’m going to keep my amazing BMW as long as I can. I’m really skeptical of this electric revolution as I’ve been wrong about emissions before.”

electric car owner @Gavin Thomas “We have an electric Golf, but this will be our last electric car. In eight years, and after just 77,000 miles, the range has decreased by 38% and will only be available for short local trips over the next 8 years. The cost of a new battery was quoted as £10,000.

“Also, after taking into account the enormous amount of energy required to make batteries, it’s now pretty clear to anyone who bothers to look at that EVs are so bad for the environment.

“A petrol car is much more environmentally friendly, and we’ll stick with those in the future even if we have to keep used versions.”

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