Important Message

Petrol vs diesel cars Which is the one for you?

Before getting to the body type, make or model, one of the biggest factors to consider when buying a new car is choosing petrol or diesel power. We'll help you understand the facts to help you make the wiser choice depending on your preferences, budget and circumstances.

All cars have particular characteristics including the fuels they use that make them suitable for different uses. There have been perceptions of diesel being less refined and cheaper to drive, compared to petrol. However, over time, modern technology has minimised the difference between the two fuels.

To discover your best choice, there are three determinants to consider; the operating costs, the fuel economy, and your driving preferences.


Operating Costs

 From a financial perspective, there is even less difference between a petrol and a diesel car as the operating costs include non-fuel factors, such as servicing, purchase price, insurance, and depreciation.

When looking at fuel running costs alone, a diesel is considerably cheaper, but you must have high annual mileages and drive on motorways frequently to obtain financial benefits. As diesel fuel costs more than petrol, you must think about whether the savings in petrol fuel consumption will offset the extra expense of a diesel car.


Depreciation is the most influential factor in costs, as resale values should play a significant part in determining whether a petrol or diesel car is more cost-effective.

Diesel vehicles may be more expensive to purchase than petrol vehicles. However, insurance on diesel cars are generally cheaper in comparison to petrol cars. It has been known that the more you drive, the more cost-effective your diesel car is. This is particularly because diesel cars currently acquire higher taxes compared to petrol vehicles. This may cost you even up to the fuel savings you make in a year.

With regards to the operating costs, we advise you to acknowledge each of its aspects to determine the more cost-effective choice.


Fuel Economy

Diesel cars have been proven to have a better fuel economy. The advanced fuel economy and efficiency have led to diesel cars being cheaper to run than petrol cars. Although diesel engines cost more per litre at the pump, you can count on a diesel car's fuel cost to be less than the equivalent petrol car.

The difference in fuel economy between diesel and petrol engines have been. Nevertheless, as a result of the stable improvements in technology, diesel engines persist to be highly fuel-efficient. Thus, diesel engines present an advantage that even the more sophisticated petrol engines struggle to compete with.

In addition to a better fuel economy, diesel also has higher resale value for larger vehicles. Diesel cars are now the common desired choice for long-distance driving.


Driving Preferences

Engineering advances have resulted in the similarities of performance and refinement between petrol and diesel. Nevertheless, diesel can be up to 35% efficient, and petrol is around 27% efficient.

New-generation petrol engines nowadays are becoming smaller, lighter,  and more efficient with without any losses of performance.

It is important to consider, however, the increasing use of diesel particulate filters (DPFs). These filters are well-made for mixed driving, but if you're a town-based driver, you can consider a DPF-equipped car. This is because a low-speed urban monitoring habit may clog a DPF filter. Diesel may have higher torque and lower rev, to allow earlier gear changes and a lot of thrust from the offset. Although these are efficient features for manual gear changes, diesel also works well with modern automatics.

Taking your driving preferences into account, keep in mind that diesel is more suited to vehicles undertaking difficult terrain, carrying heavy loads, or driving long motorway journeys. Comparably, a petrol engine is frequently acknowledged for instant throttle reaction, ordinarily suited for short journeys and city driving.


Deciding on whether to purchase a petrol or diesel vehicle is a case-by-case, or car-by-car, situation. Based on your personal circumstances and preferences, both options will provide you with a set of benefits and limitations. For more advice, don't hesitate to contact us at Parkland Motors to assist you with your decision.