Leasing giant LeasePlan carried out a study on 100,000 vehicles and its findings have shown the number of diesels in its fleet has increased every year since 2001.
Diesel power was used by just a third of fleets five years ago, but the latest study shows this has increased to a record 72% today.
Factors for the growth in diesel popularity include changes to the company car tax system in 2002, when tax became based on carbon dioxide emissions rather than business mileage, and the fact that they are becoming cleaner and more fuel efficient.
LeasePlan UK managing director David Brennan said: ‘Our figures confirm that the diesel car is now the vehicle of choice for UK businesses. In just five years, diesels have not only superseded petrol cars but have taken a stranglehold on the UK company car market.’
He added: ‘The surge in popularity of diesels can be largely attributed to the move to the emissions-based BIK tax system. However, significant improvements in engine technology, resulting in cleaner, faster cars combined with the superior fuel efficiency of diesels, have certainly played a major role.’