Milestone: petrol beats diesel!

For the first time in 20 years, more petrol than diesel cars have been sold in Belgium. This was revealed by the Belgian Automobile Federation Febiac. Car sales figures for the first five months of the year show 131,000 people buying a vehicle running on petrol, compared to 123,000 diesel cars.

Diesel cars have become less popular since the government adapted fiscal rules, Maarten Matienko of the Flemish Motoring Organisation VAB explains. "You have to know that the gap between petrol and diesel prices at filling stations will almost be closed by next year. Now, the official price gap is just 9 eurocents, but due to excise duties, this difference will almost be wiped out to reach 1 or 2 eurocents."

"For buyers, it will become very difficult to earn back the extra money they pay when purchasing a diesel car and the extra taxes they pay when they acquire the vehicle", Matienko concludes.

Diesel car drivers pay 1,000 euros in extra taxes in 5 years' time, while they pay - on average - 2,500 euros more when purchasing the vehicle. Matienko claims diesel riders have to drive more than 30,000 kilometres per years to earn their investment back.

Despite the latest milestone, there are still a lot more diesel cars on Belgian roads, as many older vehicles are still polluting diesels.