Petrol v Diesel

Published Date: 17th May 2012

Its a long running debate both in the uk car discount office and with our customers.

Petrol or Diesel engine new car?

In the ten years has been selling new cars on the internet the argument at times has been very clear cut, It used to be simple in that if you did over 15k Miles PA you drove a diesel and if you did under 12k Miles PA you drove a petrol and the no mans land between the two were decided on an individual vehicles merit.

If the Petrol Diesel engine debate were to be decided on simple miles per gallon, first past the post scenario then Diesel would win, as the average mileage difference between Petrol and Diesel in the same model car is usually in excess of 20% in favour of the Diesel engine performance.

These days the argument between diesel and petrol engines is less clear cut as there are several factors that customers need to consider.

1: Emissions – The government are charged with the task of ensuring the UK meets the European emissions standards and the requirement to reduce CO2 emissions on vehicles has resulted in the 2015 Euro VI standard which resulted in a DPF filter (A device designed to remove diesel particulate matter or soot from exhaust fumes) being fitted to most diesel engine vehicles. Diesel engines generally have much lower emissions than Petrol engines and this means the vehicle Excise duty (VED) is considerably less on a diesel engine so always look at the identical car in both engines and factor in this saving to the potential running costs.

2: Journey Type – It is no longer a simple case of high miles results in the need for a Diesel engine. Diesel engines now have a DPF filter and this means if you do lots of short journeys the engine and DPF do not get hot enough to clear the filter resulting in performance loss or engine damage. A diesel engine needs regular longer journeys in order to ensure the engine reaches operating temperature so the filter can clean or regenerate itself. If you do lots of short Journeys do not bother with a diesel engine as you will simply be inviting problems.

3: Purchase Price – Diesels engine vehicles are always more expensive than the identical vehicle with a petrol engine. If we look at the initial purchase price difference between two Ford Focus cars, one petrol and one diesel:

Ford Focus Hatchback 1.6 180 Ecoboost Titanium X 5 Door has an on the road price of £18,360.

Ford Focus Diesel Hatchback 2.0 TDCi 163 Titanium X 5 Door has an on the road price of £18,880.

The initial purchase price difference is around £500 between these vehicles and this is a reasonable reflection of the price differential for most vehicles we sell. The initial purchase price of diesels is always higher but the residual value of diesels reflects this and it is always worth having a look at average values of your proposed new car with identical mileage at three years. This will tell you how much difference there is between the car value in Petrol and Diesel form at the point you look to upgrade it.

4: Fuel Costs – Diesel fuel is about 7 pence per litre more expensive than petrol, so you need to look at the cost difference against the miles per gallon you get with your type of driving e.g. Mainly motorway driving, and you are looking at a a bigger swing towards diesel preformance.

In summary if you do more than 15k miles per year and you do lots of journeys that enable you to get the engine warm enough to clear the DPF filter than we would suggest a Diesel engine car would be more suitable and cost effective than a Petrol vehicle for the same purpose.

If you do under 12k miles per year and lots of short journeys you may find a Petrol car is the best type of vehicle for you.

The key thing for customers is to consider Mileage, Journey Types, Emissions/VED, Vehicle Price and Residual value and make their decision based upon the weight of these factors against their own personal circumstances.

If you need help deciding between a new deal on a Petrol or Diesel car call on  0161 946 3500 and we will be happy to discuss your own situation to help you determine the best vehicle for you.

We have some fantastic new car deals for 62 plate delivery in September 2012.