Education over legislation

  18 April 2017

As someone who writes about the motor industry for a living, friends and family frequently use me as a sounding board before they buy a car. The question of whether or not they should go for a diesel has crept into recent conversations, but my counter questions remain the same: what’s your annual mileage and what type of driving will you do?  

More often than not, the cars are predominantly used for short, urban trips, so I tell them to avoid diesel for this reason – not because of any impending legislative changes. People often ignore my advice as soon as they see a diesel car’s official mpg figure, though; then they ring me up after they’ve bought it and complain that they’re not getting anything like the quoted economy.  

These conversations, along with the moves the government is now considering, make me think the single biggest issue is educating consumers about the right type of vehicle for the job; so many buyers flagrantly disregard their actual requirements over what is – let’s be honest – a fairly unrealistic figure, or something they just like the look of.

That’s where, I think, the retail sector comes in. You can’t force a buyer into a particular vehicle but you can present them with facts and guidance, and at its best, the industry can have a more pivotal role in shaping the types of vehicles consumers and businesses should be buying, than government carrots and sticks.  

Jack Carfrae

Acting editor

Auto Retail Agenda

Start your free 14 day trial

Get free access to our Bulletin, Agenda & Profit for 14 days.

After 14 days we will auto bill your credit or debit card unless the order is cancelled.


As an auto retail executive you need insightful and unique industry intelligence to boost your business potential. Here’s a taste of what Auto Retail Network has to offer:

  • Get informed and boost your business potential
  • More than 1,200 fellow executives have joined us
    since launch
  • Independent, carefully crafted, unique content relevant to you and your business
  • Develop a greater awareness of market trends and opportunities
  • Access to a wide range of materials whenever, wherever and however you want it
  • Significant discounts on ARN events, reports and
    other publications