The number of diesel cars on Britain’s roads has fallen for the first time in at least 25 years, according to Government data.
The statistics, analysed by the RAC Foundation, show there were 12.29 million diesels on the roads – compared with 12.4 million a year earlier.
This is the first decline since records began in 1994 – when there were just 1.6 million diesels licensed.
The RAC Foundation attributes the drop to concerns over future restrictions – with the Government set to ban sales of new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars and vans.
According to reports earlier this year, the ban could be brought forward from 2040 to as early as 2032 in a bid to meet carbon reduction targets.
Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “These figures hint at a motoring milestone – the possibility that we have hit or even passed ‘peak diesel’.
“[This is] due to the collapse in sales of new diesel cars together with the scrapping of older diesels, which have either come to the end of their useful lives or whose owners fear increasing restrictions on their use because of air quality concerns.”
According to figures published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), 583,488 new diesel cars were sold in 2019 – down 21.8% on the 746,332 sold in 2018.