Petrol vs Diesel? Which is the best?

Petrol or diesel? This is one of the most common questions that vehicle buyers have following the diesel engines emissions scandal. The type of engine that will suit you will -depend on your circumstances, budget, and preferences. The previous mindset about diesel that it is less refined -and cheaper to run is now outdated. This is because technology has cut the differences- between the two- fuels. In short, -diesel is not always the best- for economy -and petrol does not always offer the most fun.

When choosing a petrol vehicle and a diesel one, there are -three factors that must be considered. These factors are:

• Driving preference
• Running costs
• Economy

Driving Preferences

Advances in engineering has now -blurred the line between diesel and petrol, both in refinement and performance. Diesel develops maximum- torque, which is the ‘shove’ that you require picking up speed, at lower engine revolutions. This allows you to change-up though the gears -earlier. This moderately narrow -power band can make- manual gear-changes an involving task. However, modern-day automatics work well with diesel -engines.

The diesel engines today can be smoother -than petrol, particularly the three- or two-cylinder petrol units which are a popular- choice for manufacturers- looking to boost fuel-efficiency. Good diesel is presently around 35 percent efficient, petrol is around 27 percent, but firms such as- Mazda are closing- the -gap by making petrol-engines with -diesel-like torque, and diesel-engines with a petrol-like response. The modern petrol -engines are becoming more efficient, lighter, and smaller, with no -loss of performance.

Running Costs

Running costs consist of all the non fuel -factors such as depreciation, purchase price, insurance, and servicing. Diesel-powered- cars- tend to be more- costly to buy- and service- than their _petrol counterparts, although the- ‘diesel premium’ decreases in- relative terms as vehicles get bigger.

The most significant, and perhaps a most over-looked factor in running _costs is time. Depreciation- is the leading cost of car ownership. Therefore, re-sale values play a big role in choosing whether a diesel or petrol car will be _more cost-effective generally. On the _upside, diesel is usually cheaper to insure and tax. It is also a fact that you will save money on diesel when you cover more miles.

For instance, the Fiat-500 diesel does approximately 14m.p.g. more -than its 1.2 petrol counterpart, but its _purchase price is £2400 _higher. On the economy alone, car owners would require covering more than _130,000 miles in the diesel- engines before the fuel-economy/purchase price-equation levels-out. Once servicing -costs are accounted for, the petrol vehicle builds its- advantage, ending- up more -than £900 cheaper to -run over 36,000 miles or three years.


British refineries have focused their efforts on making petrol engines and in the UK, diesel engines are noticeably dearer compared to other European -countries, where carbon dioxide-related tax -structures also add to diesel- appeal, as CO2 output is directly connected to fuel consumption.

A petrol car can deliver up to 30 percent less fuel-economy than a diesel equal, but it still -might turn out to be cheaper -to own over three- years. There is also a -possibility that -diesel will become more costly if negotiations to tax fuel -according to energy content become a reality (diesel contains approximately 10 percent more -energy than petrol).