Last year, diesel's share of new registrations in the UK rose sharply; up from 15.2% in January 2001 to 24.7% in December 2002.
However, across western Europe as a whole, diesel's share was up 4.3% on 2001 to 40.3% of new passenger car registrations in 2002.
According to technology experts Bosch, this will pass 42% before the end of 2003 and rise to 50% within the next three to four years.
Bosch is one of the key players in providing the latest generation of diesel technology which has sparked the boom in demand.
After the first TDI engine it helped produced in 1989, demand has rocketed and in 2002 alone, Bosch manufactured nearly 9.5 million injection systems - close to four million of them the latest common rail systems.