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Diesel vs Petrol - Which is right for you?

Diesel vs Petrol - Which is right for you?

With petrol generally being associated with fast cars or city runabouts and diesel being considered the fuel of choice for high mileage motorway users who are looking for the best fuel economy, we're going to take a look at 6 factors which are often overlooked and could be important when choosing your next car.


1. Purchasing Cost

  • When buying new (or used), diesel cars are usually more expensive than their petrol counterparts. As an example, the BMW 318i Saloon starts at £25,160, whereas the equivalent diesel (the BMW 318d Saloon) is £28,870 - that's almost £4,000 more expensive. While it is quite easy to dismiss the diesel for this reason, read on to find out why this saving can work out to be a false economy!


2. Depreciation 

  • Diesel cars tend to be worth more than petrol cars on the used car market, and this is important to consider when choosing a car. You might be paying a few thousand pounds more for a diesel, but when you come to sell you're likely to get a good chunk of that additional premium back, keeping the overall depreciation suffered in line with what you'd experience with a petrol car. Using a service like Wisely SOLD ensures you get the best price when selling your car reducing what you lose through depreciation. 

3. Fuel Economy

  • Diesel cars are generally considered to be more fuel efficient than petrol cars - taking our BMW 3 Series example above, the diesel variant claims to offer 27% more miles per gallon of fuel than its petrol sibling. It's worth noting that the figures given by manufacturers are achieved in laboratory environments and aught to be taken with a pinch of salt for 'real world' driving.

Tip: CarBuyer.co.uk recently calculated that 12,000 miles per annum is generally the point at which it becomes cheaper (overall) to drive a diesel car. Click here for the full article

4. Fuel Cost

  • Until recently diesel has always been more expensive than petrol to buy. However, at time of writing the price differential is closer than ever before with petrol and diesel currently costing about the same (August 2016). This make the argument for diesel stronger than ever, but its important to consider that the price differential between petrol and diesel could widen again just as quickly as it has narrowed!

5. Road Tax

  • Diesel cars are generally cheaper to tax than their petrol equivalents as they pollute fewer CO2 emissions on which car tax is currently based. In our BMW 3 Series example used above, the 318d diesel costs £30 per year to tax in comparison to £110 for the 318i petrol. This saving of £80 per year is far from a deal breaker for the petrol car, but is still worth keeping in mind when deciding. It is also worth mentioning that, just as with fuel prices, road tax is not fixed and changes every year. If the UK government decided to change the way they classify cars and focus more on 'SOx and NOx' emissions, diesels could become more expensive to tax.

6. Environment

  • Diesels produce fewer CO2 emissions than their petrol equivalents, which sees them incurring tax breaks and being considered ‘green’. However, recent studies have shown that diesels also produce far more sulphur and nitrogen oxide (SOx and NOx) gases. These have adverse effects on our breathing, especially in built up areas such as London. As more studies into these emissions are conducted, we could find that diesel cars start to lose their 'green' image and begin to incur heavier taxes + restrictions in city centres.

7. Driving Experience

  • Traditionally, petrol cars are known to provide better performance and a smoother, more refined driving experience whereas diesels are known for their economy and torque (pulling power), but also for being less refined and often noisier. In recent years cars like the BMW 340d and Audi SQ5 have done a good job of merging the positive traits of diesel with the performance traits associated with petrol. However, petrol is still considered the performance king - we don't expect Ferrari using diesel engines any time soon! So if you are looking for a relaxed and economical motorway cruiser or a car suitable for towing, a diesel will be ideal. However if you are looking for a performance car to enjoy down the country lanes or a car to pootle quietly around town a petrol would be the better choice.


Overall, the best option for you is down to your own preferences. Do you drive tens of thousands of miles a year and want to save money on fuel? Do you want a fun, fast car to give you a rewarding driving experience? Or are you not that bothered and want whichever is cheapest or best for the environment? There are many different factors to consider and we hope that this article has helped you in deciding which is best for you!

Should you be considering a new car and need to sell you old one for the best price with the least hassle, please take a look at the rest of the Wisely SOLD site and see if we can be of help.




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