Which is better, petrol or diesel?
It would be easy to simply write off diesel, but it’s important to consider the context. Depending on where you drive and how many miles you do, diesel is still a sound option.
Some cars are traditionally diesel, such as 4x4s – diesels tend to be better at low torque, meaning you can tow more efficiently and be quicker off the mark. Most other car models are available in petrol or diesel options. And let’s not forget the rise of the AFV – or alternative fuel vehicles – which saw a 46% increase in new registrations in 2017 compared to the previous year.
A diesel car is a bit like a marathon runner – they’re fuel efficient on long journeys and will go further; what they don’t like is stop-start traffic or clogged-up urban roads. Diesels are in their element on motorways and are generally the better option if you’re driving more than 12,000 miles a year. Petrol cars, on the other hand, are more like fun runners – they use up fuel more quickly and are better for shorter journeys and nipping to the shops and back.
Bear in mind, though, that diesel cars tend to be more expensive than their petrol counterparts and the cost of diesel fuel can be pricier than petrol. Nevertheless, if you drive more than 12,000 miles a year, you could recoup around £1,000 in a year or two thanks to its efficiency.
When it comes to resale, diesels traditionally hold their value better than petrol cars (around 10% more). But only time will tell whether this will still be the case in the light of clean air zones and ‘toxin taxes’ on diesels.