Recent negativity surrounding the use of diesel is failing to impact the rental market, a medium-term rental company has claimed.

According to Meridian Vehicle Solutions, fleets automatically ask for diesel vehicles when booking cars while requests for petrol-powered cars are “virtually unknown”.

However, the company’s managing director, Phil Jerome, said last month’s 20% drop in new diesel car registrations is indicative of a fall in customer interest in diesel. He speculated that rental rates for diesels could rise within months as residual values begin to decrease.

“This increase in itself may increase interest in other fuels such as petrol because their rental rates would become comparatively more attractive,” said Jerome. “These are certainly interesting times when it comes to fuel choices and it is clear that the decades-long dominance of diesel in fleet is probably coming to an end. However, questions remain over how long this process will take and its extent.”