The Money Shot – diesel in decline?

Image of Golfs through the ages
Volkswagens, in happier times
"Car manufacturers have been getting away with comically inflated figures when it comes to emissions and efficiency for many years"
  • | by Kristian Dando

Automotive colossus Volkswagen has entered that unwelcome territory where news reporters are officially obliged to prefix any mention of the brand with ‘troubled’ (see also: Tesco, Northern Rock).

The almighty corporate ruckus, relating to cars which have been fitted with technology to con US emissions tests, has seen heads rolling at boardroom level.

But it hasn’t just sent shockwaves through the corridors of power in Wolfsburg – it’s put the car industry and marketplace into a tailspin of introspection over whether or not we should have been buying diesel in our droves in the first place.

As we’ve discussed recently, diesel cars have out-sold petrol cars in Britain and Europe for some time. But the rest of the world has treated oil-burning cars with a quizzical eyebrow raised to half-mast.

Yes, they tend to kick out less CO2 than petrol-powered counterparts, meaning that customers have been able to pay little-to-no Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) on them for years, but what about all the other gunk which comes out of the exhaust pipe?

Of course, car manufacturers have been getting away with comically inflated figures when it comes to emissions and efficiency for many years.

The pristine lab conditions and rolling roads which the tests are carried out on bear no resemblance to everyday driving, although manufacturers and regulators have been said to be moving towards a more ‘real-world’ form of testing.

We don’t bandy the word ‘sea-change’ lightly here at Covered mag Towers, but there might just be one on its way…

News In Brief

A report commissioned by this very parish has revealed that living with debt has become the norm for the nation’s youth.

The National Association of Estate Agents has warned that the British property market is reaching 'crisis point', with figures showing the number of homes for sale fell by nearly a third in August.

A very early Apple computer has failed to sell in an auction in New York.

On Covered mag this week

Emily Bater met Britain’s best financial teacher in the latest of our Money Tales series.

There was also this bevy of financial tips for kids.

Abbie Laughton-Coles and a host of our other writers got all philosophical and recounted the life lessons which their pets taught them.

Here’s how TripAdvisor changed the way we travel forever.

Getting on the blower to your energy company could save you loads of money.

Covered mag letters


As an avid reader of your weekly financial missive, I take exception at last week’s derisive description of Star Wars fans as ‘nerds’.

While your weekly despatches from the front-line of money occasionally raise a titter, I can’t help but notice that you’ve taken this rather snarky line with subcultures before – I point you in the direction of this piece on conventions, which includes our brony and furry brethren.

Myself, and the other members of my university lightsabre battle recreation society, will be boycotting you henceforth.

Live long and prosper,

Arai Benoo, Tatooine

Join us next week for another caber-tossing edition of the Money Shot. Until then, send us your letters.