Should I Buy a Second Hand Diesel Car?

Diesel Car driving on motorway

With the British government pledging to ban sales of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030, many motorists are questioning if it’s worth purchasing a fossil fuel powered vehicle. The short answer is yes, for many motorists purchasing a second-hand diesel car is a smart and eco-friendly choice. While diesel engines do harbour a dirty reputation, in reality they’re often cleaner and more affordable than petrol. Of course, credentials depend on variables like the year, make and model of the car and how you plan to use it. 

Should I buy a second-hand diesel car? If you’re weighing up your options, this article is for you. Read on as we navigate the pros and cons of buying a second-hand diesel car and take a look at some key factors to consider.

Emissions and environmental footprint

Emissions are one of the biggest factors to consider when shopping for second-hand diesel cars. While models manufactured in the early 2000s or before will generally offer disappointing emissions, purchasing a second-hand diesel car that’s only a few years old leaves a much lighter environmental footprint.

In 2017, the European Union introduced strict new Euro 6d-TEMP emissions testing mandating that diesel engines be fitted with Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) systems to break down NOx. So, if you purchase a diesel car manufactured after 2017 it will run much cleaner than a pre-2017 model.

According to the RAC, the average diesel car manufactured in 2020 has average emissions of 165.5g CO2/km. While this isn’t a gold-standard level it’s nowhere near as high as the emissions you’ll release by driving an older diesel car. In comparison, new petrol cars emit an average of 149.0g CO2/km, while new hybrid electric (HEV) cars emit 125.6 g CO2/km and Plug-In Hybrid Electric (PHEV) emit just 43.4g CO2/km.

BMW manufactures some of the cleanest diesel cars on the market, with the 3 Series one of the most popular models. MINI is another great option, with low NOx emissions and excellent fuel efficiency. Toyota, a long-standing eco innovator, also manufactures some great low emission diesel cars loved by eco-conscious drivers across the UK. The diesel-powered Ford Fiesta is another top contender, with the 2021 model clocking in CO2 emissions of just 82g/km. If you can get your hands on a used 2021 model you won’t have to compromise on emissions at all. In fact, you’ll be driving one of the most eco-friendly cars on the road.

Should I buy a second-hand diesel car if I want to reduce my emissions? The short answer is yes, so long as you carefully consider emissions and choose the newest model you can afford.

Fuel efficiency

Diesel offers more energy per litre than traditional petrol, meaning diesel-powered cars tend to offer excellent fuel economy. As a general rule, diesel cars use between 15 and 20% less fuel than petrol-powered vehicles. For example, the 2020 Kia Ceed 1.6 CRDi boasts fuel economy of 72.4mpg, making it one of the most efficient diesel cars on the market. This doesn’t translate to higher emissions, with the model clocking just 102g CO2/km. The Citroen C4 Cactus 1.6 offers similar fuel economy of 70.6mpg, while the Vauxhall Corsa 1.3 CDTI increases slightly to 78.5mpg. On long journeys where speed is kept high and constant, fuel economy increases to 88mpg.

Petrol prices

Price differences between petrol and diesel may be a factor for some people when purchasing a second-hand car. Diesel tends to be slightly more expensive than petrol, though only by a few pence. That said, while you’ll likely pay more to fill up your diesel tank, the fuel economy savings cancel out the extra cost at the forecourt and make diesel cars cheaper in the long run. For example, driving a diesel-powered BMW 1 Series 116d SE for 10,000 miles might cost around £830. The same model featuring a petrol engine would cost around £1,120, making diesel cheaper overall.

Road tax

Road tax can add a significant amount to the cost of owning a car, so it’s worth factoring in when shopping for diesel-powered vehicles. Rates are calculated using CO2 emissions and the age of your car. If your diesel car was registered after April 2017 when the EU introduced Euro 6d-TEMP emissions testing, tax will likely be cheaper.

Torque and power

Diesel engines tend to offer more torque than petrol-powered counterparts, making them a great option for towing caravans and trailers. This makes second-hand diesel cars a popular choice with motorists looking for towing power. Diesel engines also offer faster acceleration which can make overtaking slightly easier.

Making your choice

Should I buy a second-hand diesel car? Ultimately, the choice is yours. Whether you choose to purchase a second-hand diesel vehicle, opt for a traditional petrol-powered car or upgrade to an EV or hybrid will depend on your own unique preferences and priorities.

Before making a decision it’s important to do your research and track down a model that works for you. Do you prioritise low emissions over power and torque? Maybe you want to drive the most fuel-efficient car possible or slash your road tax rates? Taking the time to research second-hand diesel car options is the best way to ensure you make the right decision.

When you’ve settled on a model, you can search on our own used car stock list to see what’s available or choose from any reputable dealer. My Car Credit is here to help you secure the best car finance deals in the UK. With access to one of the country’s largest lending panels, we have the experience and expertise to track down tailored car finance rates, coupled with help and support every step of the way. Using our car loan APR estimator, you can find out how much you can borrow and what it will cost in a matter of minutes. Get in touch today to find out more and get behind the wheel of your dream second-hand diesel car.   

Rates from 6.9% APR. Representative APR 13.9%

Evolution Funding Ltd T/A My Car Credit

My Credit Rating

Excellent

  • You are a home owner
  • You have been on the electoral role for a long period of time
  • You have current credit arrangements and mortgage with no defaults
  • You have no CCJs, credit arrears or missed payments
  • You rarely apply for credit
  • You are employed or self-employed

Good

  • You are on the electoral role
  • You are a home owner or long standing tenant
  • You have a stable employment history
  • You have current credit arrangements with occasional missed payments
  • You have no CCJs

Fair

  • You are or have recently been on the electoral role
  • You may have recently changed address
  • You may have occasional missed payments
  • You may have an old CCJ
  • You may have regularly applied for credit

Poor

  • You may have had frequent changes in address
  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • You may have exceeded credit card limits
  • You may have missed payments on current agreements
  • You may have had a CCJ in the past

Bad

  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • Your credit cards are over their limits
  • You have recent CCJs
  • You may have been refused credit elsewhere
  • You may be in a debt management plan
£

X monthly repayments of
£X

Typical rate

Loan amount

Total payable

X% APR*

£X

£X

*for illustration purposes only

No impact on your credit score

Representative Example

Borrowing £7,500 at a representative APR of 13.9%, annual interest rate (fixed) 13.85%, 47 monthly payments of £201.38 followed by 1 payment of £211.38 (incl. estimated £10 option to purchase fee), a deposit of £0.00, total cost of credit is £2,176.24, total amount payable is £9,676.24.

Evolution Funding Limited, trading as My Car Credit, is a credit broker and not a lender.

Require more help?

Got a question you can’t find the answer to, or need some advice and guidance around taking out car finance? Our Car Credit Specialists are friendly, experienced, and here to help so get in touch today!

Where Can I Find the Best Used Car Finance Deals?

Woman looking on phone for best used car finance deals

With the potential to save thousands of pounds, purchasing a used car is one of the best financial decisions you can make. A stellar interest rate on your loan makes the savings even better. Hence, it’s worth shopping around for the best used car finance deals.

Loans can often last for several years. As such, even small variations in interest rates can make a big difference to the total cost of your overall loan. To help you unlock the biggest savings, we’ve put together a guide covering everything you need to know. Including, where to find the best used car finance deals and what to look for when shopping for a lender.

Type of finance on offer

A good lender should offer a variety of finance options. Ideally, this should include personal loans that allow you to own the car outright and sell it if needed. Personal loans are generally the most affordable option in the long term. As such, this makes them one of the most popular choices. Bear in mind, they do require separate agreements to be coordinated before making your purchase.

Hire purchase (HP) loans are another option, requiring an initial deposit and then fixed monthly payments over a predetermined time period. Personal contract purchase (PCP) loans adopt a similar concept, with the loan determined by calculating the difference between the price of the brand-new car and its estimated value when the hire agreement ends. 

Flexible terms

Typically, car finance deals range from between two to seven years. The average loan lasts around six years, though ultimately your deal should be matched to your own unique needs and financial situation. As a rule of thumb, longer payment terms translate to a higher rate over the course of the loan. That said, your monthly payments will be lower as the loan is stretched out. The best used car finance deals should offer flexible terms that work for you, not the other way around.

Freedom to buy from different dealers

Not all lenders are created equal. Therefore, the best used car finance deals will offer you the freedom to buy from a variety of dealers, not just a select few cherry-picked by the lender. Looking for lenders that give you the freedom to shop around for the best used car deals is a guaranteed way to unlock additional savings.

Ease and transparency

Buying a used car should be exciting, not stressful. When shopping for car finance deals it’s worth prioritising lenders that make the process as easy and stress free as possible. Looking for a provider that offers an easy-to-use car finance calculator is a great place to start.

This small but telling feature shows you that they’re dedicated to making your experience as smooth and straightforward as possible. With the number crunching taken care of, you’re free to focus on the task at hand – choosing your dream used car.

Transparency is also a big one, with some providers really excelling in this area. Look for lenders that make it crystal clear how much the total cost of your loan will be, including extras like interest and fees. Lenders that attempt to hide these costs should automatically raise red flags. 

Enlist the help of a broker

Enlisting the help of an experienced broker is one of the easiest and most effective ways to track down the best used car finance deals. With the help of an expert car finance broker, you’ll unlock access to the best available finance deals. What’s more, you’ll get personalised advice every step of the way.

My Car Credit ticks all the boxes listed above, including ease and transparency. Our approach is underpinned by a goal to make car finance online as simple and accessible as possible. As a result, we can help you buy the car you want with the best possible finance rates for your circumstances.

The company is part of Evolution Funding, one of the largest and most respected motor finance brokers in the UK. This means you’ll have access to a large panel of car finance lenders. In addition, we use specialised technology designed to match you with the best products. Exclusive to Evolution Funding, this purpose-built technology increases your chances of acceptance. Even better, it helps match you with the best products and lenders for your unique circumstances.

Ready to get behind the wheel of your dream car? Get in touch with the My Car Credit team to find out more about how you can secure the best used car finance deals in the UK. Email us on enquiries@mycarcredit.co.uk or call 01246 458 810.

Rates from 6.9% APR. Representative APR 13.9%

Evolution Funding Ltd T/A My Car Credit

My Credit Rating

Excellent

  • You are a home owner
  • You have been on the electoral role for a long period of time
  • You have current credit arrangements and mortgage with no defaults
  • You have no CCJs, credit arrears or missed payments
  • You rarely apply for credit
  • You are employed or self-employed

Good

  • You are on the electoral role
  • You are a home owner or long standing tenant
  • You have a stable employment history
  • You have current credit arrangements with occasional missed payments
  • You have no CCJs

Fair

  • You are or have recently been on the electoral role
  • You may have recently changed address
  • You may have occasional missed payments
  • You may have an old CCJ
  • You may have regularly applied for credit

Poor

  • You may have had frequent changes in address
  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • You may have exceeded credit card limits
  • You may have missed payments on current agreements
  • You may have had a CCJ in the past

Bad

  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • Your credit cards are over their limits
  • You have recent CCJs
  • You may have been refused credit elsewhere
  • You may be in a debt management plan
£

X monthly repayments of
£X

Typical rate

Loan amount

Total payable

X% APR*

£X

£X

*for illustration purposes only

No impact on your credit score

Representative Example

Borrowing £7,500 at a representative APR of 13.9%, annual interest rate (fixed) 13.85%, 47 monthly payments of £201.38 followed by 1 payment of £211.38 (incl. estimated £10 option to purchase fee), a deposit of £0.00, total cost of credit is £2,176.24, total amount payable is £9,676.24.

Evolution Funding Limited, trading as My Car Credit, is a credit broker and not a lender.

Require more help?

Got a question you can’t find the answer to, or need some advice and guidance around taking out car finance? Our Car Credit Specialists are friendly, experienced, and here to help so get in touch today!

Best Used Car Websites – Our Top 5

Person browsing the internet for the best used car websites

In many ways, finding and buying a used car has never been simpler thanks to the internet. Gone are the days when you came across second-hand vehicles with For Sale signs by the side of the road. Today, you pop online and search for them via the web and get access to thousands of results in a matter of seconds.

However, this is part of the problem. How do you know which website to trust and which to avoid? It’s an age-old question, but thankfully, My Car Credit has the answers. All you need to do is use our top five recommendations for the best used car websites, all of which you can find below.

1.   Cazoo

Cazoo is a specialist in all things used car-related. Its unique selling point is that it offers its customers the entire package, from the motor itself to finance, delivery services and part exchanges. That means Cazoo is your one-stop-shop for all your vehicle requirements if you can’t afford to waste time and mess around with quotes from different providers.

There are 250 makes and models to choose from, so a lack of options is never an issue. Plus, reliability is a strong point because Cazoo owns all of its cars, which means it can give them a rigorous check before selling. Something interesting to watch out for is the subscription model of motoring, a market Cazoo welcomes with open arms.

2.   Cinch

Cinch is another new motoring company that is performing well within a saturated market, hence it making our list of best used car websites. Part of the reason for this is that Cinch sticks to the basics, which is something customers love because it removes any confusion. You can expect any vehicle you look at to be no older than seven years old, travelled fewer than 70,000 miles, and pass a 225-point quality check.

Probably the biggest selling point for Cinch is its 14-day money-back guarantee that allows you to return your purchase for any reason within the deadline. Finance is available too, such as HP and PCP, as is a part-exchange. However, the latter is only for people who have bought an online model.

3.   AA Cars

When you see AA, you know you can trust the brand. AA Cars is no different as the operator is one of the biggest classified platforms in the UK. This is down to the strict criteria that sellers must meet if they are allowed to advertise on the website. But this doesn’t put many individuals or companies off. Far from it. Typically, there are over 150,000 adverts from franchised and independent dealers, meaning you get an incredible combination of variety and peace of mind.

While AA Cars isn’t a vehicle seller, it does supplement its listings with accessories drivers need, such as breakdown cover and a vehicle history check. Most cars come with a 128-point check and an extensive report.

4.   CarShop

CarShop has been one of the UK’s leading car supermarkets since 1997, making it the most established on our list of best used car websites. And, because it’s been servicing the industry for decades, it understands what features to focus on. For example, there is a 14-day money-back guarantee, similar to Cinch’s. It is worth pointing out that this is double Cazoo’s.

Next, there is a 586-point inspection, which is a couple of hundred points greater than its rivals. Of course, PCP and HP finance packages are also provided.

The best feature is the £99 refundable deposit you can put down to reserve a car. Whether you end up buying it or not, the reserve means you have the flexibility to shop around without missing out on suitable deals. No other used car website has this bonus, which is why it’s so impressive.

5.   My Car Credit

We’d be silly if we didn’t include ourselves on a list of best used car websites! The reason being, as well as comparing finance deals across a large panel of lenders, My Car Credit wants to make it easier to ensure your next car is the right car. Using our My Car Search, you can find a quality used car in the same place you complete a car finance soft credit check.

All dealers are regularly vetted for financial stability and customer service in line with the Financial Conduct Authority. It’s simply a case of finding your favourite make and model from a wide selection of cars.

To find out more about My Car Credit and how we can help you, simply call us on 01246 458 810 or email enquiries@mycarcredit.co.uk.

Rates from 6.9% APR. Representative APR 13.9%

Evolution Funding Ltd T/A My Car Credit

My Credit Rating

Excellent

  • You are a home owner
  • You have been on the electoral role for a long period of time
  • You have current credit arrangements and mortgage with no defaults
  • You have no CCJs, credit arrears or missed payments
  • You rarely apply for credit
  • You are employed or self-employed

Good

  • You are on the electoral role
  • You are a home owner or long standing tenant
  • You have a stable employment history
  • You have current credit arrangements with occasional missed payments
  • You have no CCJs

Fair

  • You are or have recently been on the electoral role
  • You may have recently changed address
  • You may have occasional missed payments
  • You may have an old CCJ
  • You may have regularly applied for credit

Poor

  • You may have had frequent changes in address
  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • You may have exceeded credit card limits
  • You may have missed payments on current agreements
  • You may have had a CCJ in the past

Bad

  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • Your credit cards are over their limits
  • You have recent CCJs
  • You may have been refused credit elsewhere
  • You may be in a debt management plan
£

X monthly repayments of
£X

Typical rate

Loan amount

Total payable

X% APR*

£X

£X

*for illustration purposes only

No impact on your credit score

Representative Example

Borrowing £7,500 at a representative APR of 13.9%, annual interest rate (fixed) 13.85%, 47 monthly payments of £201.38 followed by 1 payment of £211.38 (incl. estimated £10 option to purchase fee), a deposit of £0.00, total cost of credit is £2,176.24, total amount payable is £9,676.24.

Evolution Funding Limited, trading as My Car Credit, is a credit broker and not a lender.

Require more help?

Got a question you can’t find the answer to, or need some advice and guidance around taking out car finance? Our Car Credit Specialists are friendly, experienced, and here to help so get in touch today!