A simples guide

Does petrol or diesel make a difference when it comes to car insurance?

Buying a car can be an exciting time if only for the anticipation of driving your new baby on the road! Where do you start though when it comes to choosing what car to get?

For some it’s simple, their hearts are set on a certain model and there’s no discussion to be had. For others it’s all about the cost, the cheaper the better. Dare we say for others; it might just be a colour thing!

If you’re the calculating type, a host of factors might come into play when you’re making your decision. Its performance, its environmental footprint, and of course whether the car is petrol powered or diesel.

Diesel cars tend to be more expensive to buy than petrol versions in the first place. However, they’re often cheaper to tax thanks to their lower CO2 emissions. They may also yield better fuel economy too.

Some people report that they’ve found diesel cars more expensive to insure than petrol cars. Were they just unlucky or is there a trend here?


What does the cost of insurance depend on?

In short, many things! Some of the factors depend on you the driver such as:

  • How old you are
  • Where you live
  • How long you have been driving
  • Whether you have no claims bonus
  • Whether you have any driving convictions

…to name but some.

Then there are factors relating to the car:

  • How old it is
  • How much it’s worth
  • How many miles a year you’ll drive
  • Whether it has any modifications
  • Security measures you’re taking

What about insurance groups?

The insurance group refers to a rating system devised by insurance bodies which gives all cars a group number between 1 and 50.

An insurance group 1 generally means cheap to insure while 50 means pricey. They put these ratings together after looking at a number of different things such as:

  • The cost of the car new
  • The power of the car
  • How cheap it is to repair
  • The cost and availability of spare parts

So, if diesels are more expensive to insure we should expect to find that their insurance groupings are a little higher right?

Oh dear, the answer, is no, they don’t seem to be. For example:

Insurance groups

Model Insurance group
Golf SE 1.4 TSi 13
Golf SE 1.6 TDi 11
BMW 316i 23
BMW 316d 20
Skoda Superb Estate 1.4 TSi 14
Skoda Superb Estate 1.6 TDi 12
Seat Leon 1.4 TSi 20
Seat Leon 1.6 TDi 14

So how do you find out for sure?

There are some reports out there that claim diesels are around 10-15% more expensive to insure than their petrol equivalents. This was largely attributed to the cost of repairs and replacement values.

To be honest, the only way to know for sure is to compare quotes. If the cost of car insurance is an important factor behind your decision as to which car to buy, you should always compare insurance premiums anyway.

We make comparing simple. Input the model you’re interested in with some details about yourself and we’ll pull up available policies for you.

There doesn’t seem to be an easy answer to the question we started with here but there is an easy way to compare insurance prices. That’s right here, right now with comparethemarket.com.

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