It’s an age old question that baffles car owners to this very day. Which fuel is right for me – diesel or petrol? With that in mind, let’s consider some issues that might help that decision become a little easier:
- Diesel at the moment is almost the same price at petrol.
- A diesel engine will normally be more efficient and provide high miles per gallon over a petrol engine.
- A diesel car will be more expensive to buy on purchase.
- A diesel car will hold resale values slightly better than a petrol variant quite often.
- Although modern diesel engines are quieter than older counterparts, they are still noisier than petrol engines.
- Diesel engines are heavier than petrol engines which can impact on driving dynamics.
- A diesel car should be in a lower tax band than a petrol variant, but this isn’t always the case.
- Petrol was for a significant time at a lower price than diesel and if prices go up it’ll likely return to this disparity.
- Petrol engines are far happier on shorter runs than diesel engines.
- Replacement parts, servicing etc are all cheaper with a petrol car.
- There is no expensive DPF to replace, unlike a modern diesel.
- Petrol engines do not require Ad-blue, again another cost of a modern diesel potentially.
- Petrol engines are far more efficient these days, such as Ford’s extremely clever 1 litre Ecoboost.
- Petrol engines come up to temperature more quickly, are smoother and will rev higher.
If cost is the sole factor when you’re making your decision, well as you can see it’s not quite as simple as just saying the diesel or petrol is cheaper. An inefficient or sports based diesel will likely be very similar to an economy based petrol engine. The petrol powerplant will be better for driving around cities whilst the diesel may well be a good bet for higher mile drivers on a motorway run.
Our best advice? Buy the newest car you can with an engine that you like. MPG figures that are advertised usually vary from what you see and the biggest factor influencing whether your car is efficient or not remains your right foot!