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Petrol versus Diesel, Which Is Best?

We are often asked whether Diesel Cars are more Economical than Petrol and with the help of Unipart we have put together this article which we hope you will find useful. Years ago when it came to choosing the fuel type for your car the choice was easy. However, these days it is not so simple. With the cost of fuel constantly rising many people are debating whether they should have a car that runs on petrol or a car that runs on diesel. This blog explains the differences between petrol and diesel.

Once upon a time people were very reluctant to buy a diesel car for one reason - they had noisy engines and people often referred to them as trucks. It wasn't long before car manufacturers realised they could refine the diesel engine to make it cleaner, efficient, more powerful and with developments in Dual mass clutch and flywheel technology vibration was taken out from the vehicle cabin. With diesel costing less than petrol at the petrol pumps it was suddenly becoming a more viable option for consumers. However, today the economy is slightly different and diesel is no longer cheaper than petrol which means no longer is it clear cut when choosing which fuel you should opt for.

Consumers often opt for diesel cars because of the reputation they have of 'saving money' However, research has shown that this is not the case and more often than not diesel cars are more expensive to run than petrol cars. A diesel engine may give you more miles per gallon but it could be a number of years before you see any savings because diesel cars cost more to fill than an unleaded car. Not only that, when purchasing a diesel car you are paying a premium for the privilege. If it is a new car then this premium can be as much as £2,000.

With petrol being priced cheaper at the pumps and new advances in petrol engine efficiency it means you are getting more value for money from a petrol engine.

If you drive less than 10,000 miles per year then petrol will always be the best choice for you. The magazine "Which" conducted a study and found it would take an automatic BMW 530d SE diesel – costing £40,945 and doing 40.9mpg – more than 14 years of average motoring to be as cost effective as the petrol-powered 528i SE Step Auto, costing £37,300 and doing 34mpg. While company car drivers who do lots of miles might do well with the more expensive diesel with a £3,645 premium, the report says private buyers should stick to petrol, adding: ‘The premium for the diesel means it will almost never pay back in terms of fuel savings.’

It seems the message is pretty clear at the moment. Town dwellers who do low mileage would benefit from petrol. Anyone who drives lots of miles, particularly if you don't do a good amount of longer journeys (to allow the Diesel Particulate Filter to regenerate properly), would be better suited with a car that uses diesel as fuel.

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