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Should I buy a petrol or diesel car?Back

If you’re thinking about purchasing a new or used car but are not sure whether to opt for a petrol or diesel model, follow our helpful guide below.

Diesel cars have changed dramatically in the last decade, with four out of every ten new cars being diesel powered, so if you haven’t ever driven one, now is the time to think about taking a test drive. No longer are diesels slow and noisy, in fact the most modern ones are so smooth they could even be mistaken for a petrol engine.

You’ll pay a bit more for a diesel engine, but in turn you’ll benefit long term from better fuel economy, lower fuel emissions and taxation benefits which is why many companies are now opting for diesel fleets.

When you’re thinking about which engine is better suited to your lifestyle, it’s important to take into account the pros and cons of choosing a diesel or a petrol engine, so we have listed a few below to help you out:


Cost: This will be less if you choose a petrol car, both to buy and also to fill up at the pump.

Choice: You’ll have more choice if you opt for a petrol car as there are more available on the market, particularly in the second-hand sector.

Durability: Petrol cars can usually last longer in between services.

Fuel: You’re less likely to make a mistake at the pump as the diesel nozzle will not fit an unleaded filler neck.



Economic: you should be able to travel at least 10 miles per gallon further in a similarly powered diesel vehicle

Environmentally friendly: Less CO2 emissions, many of which are less than 99g/km which means you could qualify for free road tax or if you drive a company car it will mean less car benefit tax.

Engines last longer: Diesel engines are built to be tough and run on lower revs, which means their life is usually preserved for much longer.

Servicing: This may cost you less as there are no spark plugs to change.

Expense: New diesel cars will usually cost more than petrol ones, and second-hand models are also more expensive.

The final question is whether a diesel engine will save you money long term or not? The answer is, if you intend to drive longer distances, for example you cover an excess of 20,00 miles per year, you should benefit from a diesel engine’s superior fuel economy, and make back the extra money you spent when you bought the car in a short period of time. But if your journeys are short, and your annual mileage accumulates to less than 5,000, then the petrol engine is the one for you.

Posted by Leana Kell on 13/10/2011