Market share of fuel types in new cars registered in the UK 2013-2019

Petrol vehicles were the most sold car type in the United Kingdom in 2019. Until 2016, the share of petrol and diesel engines in new passenger cars was similar, however from 2017 onwards the popularity of diesel cars declined. The decline could be attributable to a number of factors, from the negative perceptions of diesel associated with the ‘Dieselgate’ scandal, to fears of a tightening regulatory environment. As of 2017, the UK ranked below the diesel sales share average in the European Union.

Diesel car sales volume below 1 million

In terms of sales volume, the number of newly registered passenger cars with a diesel motor fell below one million for the first time in 2018, amounting to 750,165 units and further declining to 615,705 units as of 2019. Overall, sales figures were lower than in the previous year.

Prices for diesel fuel increasing

In the same time period that purchases of diesel passenger cars declined, the average price of diesel fuel steadily increased. A peak in prices was recorded in October 2018, when it reached 136.7 pence per liter.

Market share of fuel types in newly registered cars in the United Kingdom (UK) in 2013 to 2019*

Fuel typeAlternative fuelPetrolDiesel
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Release date

January 2020


United Kingdom

Survey time period

2013 to 2019

Supplementary notes

* Alternative fuel includes BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle), PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle) and HEV (Hybrid Electric Vehicle) vehicles.
Petrol and diesel include MHEV vehicles (Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle).

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