Diesels are known for their excellent fuel efficiency and strong torque characteristics so it’s not surprising roughly half of new car sales in Europe are diesel. However, the same can’t be said for the rest world where sales of petrol powered cars still dominate. A new study conducted by German research firm Dataforce goes some way to resolving the discrepancy.

According to the findings, 72% of German fleet buyers pick diesel cars whereas only a third of private buyers pick the oil-burners. In the Netherlands, fleet buyers are six times more likely to go for diesel than private buyers, reports Automotive News.

Despite the economical sense of diesels, Dataforce explains that private buyers still go for petrol because of bad memories and old habits. “Diesels used to be noisy and smelly. Now they are better. But for many people, diesel is still like a food that doesn’t taste good,” one researcher explained.

One thing is for certain, however, the popularity of diesels are rising for both fleet and private buyers in nearly all parts of Europe.