Petrol versus diesel: which is more cost-effective?
In recent years, the decision whether to drive a petrol or diesel car has become a matter of great debate. Whether you are currently looking for a Land Rover for sale, for example, or you simply want to know whether your much loved VW Passat is a viable option, you need to know which type of car is the best option to suit your own personal needs at the moment.
One of the biggest issues of all is whether the car will be cheaper to run if it has a petrol engine or will be more cost-effective if it is powered by diesel. Making such a decision is far more complicated than you might think, because there are a number of variables which need to be considered. It’s not just a matter of choosing petrol because it’s cheaper at the pumps.
While a litre of diesel will cost more than a litre of petrol, there are many other factors to think about. For example, the purchase price of two similar models will vary greatly in some cases. The petrol-engined car will almost always cost less to buy, but over a period of time there is every chance that it will cost more in maintenance, repairs and spare parts.
Lower tax, greater efficiency, less reliability
It’s sometimes dangerous to place too much importance on generalisations, but it should be noted that diesel cars tend to retain their value more than their petrol cousins. In addition, diesel vehicles are usually liable to lower road taxes, and, again generalising, they are often far more efficient. Not every equation adds up in favour of the diesels, however.
Recent surveys have suggested that petrol cars are usually – albeit only slightly – more reliable over a period of years than diesels, so if you plan to cover great distances you need to take note of such findings. And when something major goes wrong on a diesel car, there is a very real chance that it could end up costing you a small fortune at the garage.
As is always the case in such matters, the motorist will need to think hard before deciding which side of the fence to drive on. The biggest mistake made, and it’s a common one, is when a potential buyer takes one look at the prices at the local petrol pump and simply assumes petrol cars will be better purely because a litre of four-star is so much cheaper.