Petrol? Diesel? Which is best?

I would say that the age-old question about which is cheaper, petrol or diesel, is being asked by someone every day. The answer is totally dependent on the use of the car. This article will bring to light some useful facts that will help you decide which is best for you when you commit to buying.

Diesel cars and actual diesel fuel are more expensive than petrol. Maintaining a diesel car can also be costly due to the Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF). These have been fitted as standard in the exhausts of all diesel vehicles since 2009, in line with European emission standards. Whether you can trust that or not is a different matter!

One of the benefits of the DPF is cheaper road tax. The downside of the filter is that they do seem to require replacing more frequently than originally thought, with costs ranging from £1,000 – £3,000. Many breakdown recovery services are called out to cars displaying warning lights indicating a partial blockage of the filter.

The DPF has the ability to maintain itself through a process called regeneration, where soot is burnt off at high temperatures. When the filter reaches about 45% of its capacity, this process is activated automatically by raising the exhaust temperature. During this process, if the journey is short and a bit stop and start, it will lead to the warning light coming on to let you know the filter is blocked. Ignoring this warning could end up incurring the costly installation of a new DPF!

The last point brings me neatly to the following – buy diesel if you know you’re going to be driving high mileage; buy petrol if it is low mileage. Buying a petrol car with a turbocharger would be even better as they achieve maximum efficiency a lot quicker, so it’s worth checking out the Ford Fiesta with fuel economy of 47.9 MPG which is excellent!

So, to sum up, if you intend to be driving lots of motorway miles each year, then you would benefit from a diesel car. The DPF would work efficiently due to the high mileage and you would get more miles to the gallon. Although the car and the fuel is more expensive, you would definitely notice a saving after driving 30,000 miles or more a year. If you’re after a small run-around to nip about town or for socialising with friends, then a small petrol car, turbocharged at that, would suit you and your finances down to the ground.