A debate which always runs through the automotive industry time and time again is that of which is better- a petrol car or a diesel car?
For some, the choice is more of a personal one, having perhaps driven one type for many years. Yet for others it may be a reluctance to change over, often for fear of filling up incorrectly at the pumps!
However, in the car industry overall, with prices rocketing and environmental causes widely debated, the question of whether we should be looking at purchasing one over the other is also increasing with each passing year.
To gain a better understanding of the debate, we need to look at the merits and disadvantages of either choice.
Diesel is usually the more expensive of the two. There is a possibility of this becoming more so and rising over the coming years, due to the higher tax levies being discussed regarding this fuel type. Therefore, those diesel gas station figures incurred over several years can seem way above that of petrol!
Many diesel fans will claim that a petrol car delivers less in the way of fuel economy in comparison, and they are correct However when you look at running a petrol car over say three years or so, it still may work out cheaper in the long term.
Regarding miles per gallon, the best way to discern this is to look at those figures from real drivers on real roads because official reports are often obtained in a lab, therefore they do not reflect the actual fuel consumption figures.
The running costs usually provide more of an issue than the fuel consumption debate here! The thing to note though is that all such operating costs do vary significantly between the actual types of petrol and diesel cars.
Purchasing: Diesel cars are usually initially more expensive to purchase than petrol cars.
Insurance: Diesel cars are often cheaper to insure than petrol cars.
Maintenance: Dependent entirely on the make and model of the car, it usually works out that a diesel engine will cost more to maintain as opposed to a petrol engine.
Diesel is well known for being the better choice when it comes to driving those longer distances. Petrol is considered the better option for shorter and more regular local trips, cost wise. However, with advances being made all the time in regard to the engineering of both diesel and petrol cars, both are now almost identical in what they can do regarding performance and refinement.
Many professionals will still, quite rightly, advocate the better decision to keep diesel car use to a minimum when driving in built-up areas and towns.
However, with so many advancements being made, diesel cars are now starting to give petrol cars a run for their money. They are becoming just as smooth as the petrol engines, which is excellent if you are looking to boost that fuel efficiency.
That said, petrol engines continue to be built smaller as well as lighter, and are therefore more efficient – and all without losing that all-important performance.
Who Wins the Fight – Diesel or Petrol?
Finally, having worked in the car industry for as many years as we have, we could not give you a definite answer on whether a petrol or diesel car is the better choice.
It will all depend on the make and model of your vehicle when purchasing it. There are advantages and disadvantages to both choices. However, if you are buying a second-hand car, as so many of us continue to do so and will inevitably do so for many more years to come, you often don’t have the chance to make such a decision at this point as to its fuel type.
If you can make that choice, think about the miles you drive in a year, the types of roads you drive on, and the average miles you make per journey and look at selecting the most efficient type to do such jobs successfully.