Before Buying That Dream Car, Consider This Diesel and Petrol Comparison

The financial benefits you get from buying a diesel car are generally better if you travel high kilometres. However, if you travel low kilometres (15,000km per year or less) petrol may be the better option.

Size and type of vehicle

Large cars and with high fuel consumption often will benefit from being diesel powered, but smaller cars with petrol engines of around 1.6-litre capacity will generally be very fuel efficient.

Fuel economy

During the AA ENERGYWISE Rally 2010 they discovered that diesel cars usually travel up to 30% further on one tank of fuel. Fuel economy should be considered in conjunction with other factors like registration costs, Road User Charges (RUC), purchase price, servicing and depreciation.

Purchase price

Generally, diesel cars are considerably more expensive than petrol. These days the price difference may not be as extreme, but it’s still a good idea to check.


Depreciation is a big factor when you are considering which fuel type to use. Petrol cars tend to depreciate more quickly than their diesel equivalents.

Fuel price

Generally, fuel prices fluctuate but diesel has remained cheaper at the pump.

Noise and performance

Older diesel engines may be very noisy, but modern technology has greatly improved noise and overall performance. Modern common rail diesel engines will not tolerate contaminated fuel hence refuelling at a busy site is advisable


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