The changes in the price of diesel over the past few years has made it less obvious which type of car to buy. A diesel car is no longer the obviously cheaper option. While diesel cars still tend to get much better mileage, the proliferation of petrol cars on the road makes it feel like there may be advantages to petrol. So what’s the best option, really? And why do people choose one over the other?
Filters, Efficiency, and Fuel
The biggest part of the debate usually centers around the way modern petrol engines are better at warming up quickly. They warm up fast, so you can get going right away and you car is much more efficient. Supposedly. The fact is that this is only a benefit if you mostly make short trips with your car. If you’re inclined to save money and get a bit of physical activity, you probably make short trips by bike, bus, or rail. If you don’t have those options and tend to make short trips in the car, a petrol engine can be beneficial in winter.
But if you’re someone who commutes a long distance by car, a diesel engine is probably more efficient in the long run. Plus, modern diesel cars have better particulate filters which are built to improve on the problem of inefficiency over short distances. So in many ways, you can save a lot by getting a diesel. And the more you drive, the better you’ll do. On the other side of the argument, you’ve got to look closely at how much you drive because if it’s not between 20,000 and 30,000 miles per year you may not be getting that advantage.
Used Diesel Cars
You could find a balance by buying a used diesel car – getting the benefit of the diesel but avoiding the higher price up front. Just be careful, though, that you’re not buying a car that’s going to need a lot of work in the near future. This is a big problem for some of the older diesel models and the low price may not pan out the way you thought it would.
There is no right or wrong answer to the diesel vs. petrol dilemma. The fact is that either way you end up paying quite a lot of money for the car and the more you use it, the more fuel you’ll have to buy. Drivers who drive a lot may find a benefit with diesel cars, but you should track your mileage to see if it’s really worth your while.