It is a regular debate that all of those in the market for a new car go through – should I buy diesel rather than petrol? Which will cost me less in the long run? Well, the truth is that there is no hard and fast answer, and which diesel would be best for you is a question with several strands to it, all of which must be taken into account when deciding. To help you out, here are some points to consider:
How far do I regularly travel?
This is a very important consideration, as while diesels do tend to squeeze out more miles from a gallon of fuel this can be affected by the type of journey you regularly undertake and the distances that you travel. If, for example, you are only covering short distances in quite a high traffic area, diesel may not be the right answer for you.
This is because diesels have much more complex injection and combustion systems relative to petrol engines. On a short, traffic heavy commute over time a diesel’s particulate filters (which remove diesel particulate matter from the exhaust gases) can become clogged due to the nature of the journey, leaving you with a bill each time they need to be changed. Regular motorway or A-road driving can help to ease this situation by gradually burning off the particulate over the longer distances covered.
Diesel vehicles are generally that little bit more expensive than their petrol counterparts, thanks at least in part to the more complex nature of the diesel engines themselves, and this extra cost has to be factored in to your overall running costs.
Will using diesel fuel over the lifetime of the car offset that initial extra outlay? It may well do, but diesel from the pump also tends to be slightly more costly than petrol (though the current dip in overall prices has reduced the gap somewhat) so clawing that money back may take a while. How long are you planning on keeping the vehicle? Long enough to get that back? This is something you must consider.
What kind of car am I buying?
Depending on what you buy, a diesel may well be an advantage when it comes to selling the vehicle on. For example if you’re in the market for a family vehicle then a diesel is sure to be appealing to anyone looking at your car in the second hand market, whereas if you want an Alfa Romeo saloon, diesel is less likely to be your friend. Take into account your plans for the life of the vehicle before you take the plunge.
A diesel can be a fantastic tool and could well be the best motoring decision that you have ever made, but fail to take account of the factors above before you make your decision and it could end up being one that you regret. Choose wisely.