A DPF is fitted to all Diesel lease cars manufactured from 2009 onward.
In 2009 we saw the introduction of the Euro 5 emission standards, which meant that in order to comply with the new standards introduced by the Government, the manufacturers solutions was to fit a DPF (diesel particulate filter) to all diesel car; hence why a DPF is fitted to diesel lease cars.
You'll notice the cars on the road that are not fitted with this device as the soot that they omit is visible.
Driving a vehicle with a DPF fitted does mean that there's certain maintenance required and you may find that your driving style is no longer suited to a diesel lease car.
A DPF works by filtering the soot that your diesel car releases into the atmosphere. By driving your car you help to cleanse and release this build up of soot.
It's important that your vehicle is regenerated on a regular basis to clear this build up, this is done by driving at at least 50 mph for more than 10 minutes or so.
Even if you drive 10,000 miles per annum, a diesel may still not be a practical solution for you, as it depends on your style of driving. If this is all start/stop busy city centre driving, then you may find that your DPF begins to clogg.
You may only drive 6,000 miles per annum, but you might live near a A or B road, so each day get your vehicle to at least 60 mph for 5 minutes of the day.
If the DPF warning light comes on, you must act straight away and not ignore it. Follow the guidelines according to the manufacturers handbook. This will usually instruct you to drive the vehicle over 50 mph for at least 20 minutes, which will help the vehicle to regenerate and clear the soot particles that have built up.
It's important that you do this immediately and don't ignore the warning indicator light. If it is ignored, you'll begin to notice and difference in the vehicles performance and eventually the engine will cut out completely. Your vehicle doesn't know where it's located, so it could cut out in the middle of a busy roundabout putting you and your passengers in danger.
If the vehicle does cut out, then it's likely to have irreversible damage with costly parts having to be replaced completely and this will not be covered under your manufactures warranty.
If you don't drive the car much and only use it for short urban commutes, then a petrol car on lease may be better suited to you.