Petrol or Diesel: Which Makes the Most Sense for Your Next Car?

Petrol or Diesel: Which Makes the Most Sense for Your Next Car?

You have plenty to consider when purchasing a car these days. One decision that car buyers (and sellers) have debated for years is whether a car should run on petrol or diesel.

Some would answer that question for you without giving any consideration to your lifestyle or where you will do most of your driving. Here are some essential facts you need to know regarding both kinds of engines.

Advantages of Petrol Engines

Engines running on petrol have some distinct advantages over their diesel counterparts.

  • Cost – You can expect to pay less for a petrol-powered car. The reason petrol-powered cars cost less is tied to the lower price of manufacturing. Even if you purchase the same make and model of car, you can expect to add between $2,500 and $5,000 to the driveaway cost for the diesel as compared to the petrol version.
  • Responsiveness – A car powered by petrol will be able to accelerate quickly and maneuver in urban driving situations. Smoothly driving around the city and suburban streets is a huge part of a petrol car’s design.
  • Quietness – Driving a nearly silent car is a must for some people. While it is true that diesel-powered vehicles are less noisy than those made years ago, the petrol engine will produce much less noise. A petrol engine will give you a peaceful ride, especially if equipped with good seals around doors and windows.
  • Low Maintenance Costs – Finding a shop with a skilled professional on duty is much easier for those with petrol engines than those who run diesel. When you are driving a vehicle with petrol fuel, you can relax knowing you will be able to find what you need to keep your car performing in tip-top condition. Parts for repairs are also easy to find.
  • Fuel Availability – Despite the highs and lows in price, petrol is easy to find. The infrastructure of the modern world is built for petrol-powered engines. For the most part, diesel fuel is available at the majority of stations, especially in urban areas. In many cases, you must go to the far end of the station to access diesel fuel. In rural places, you may need a bit of luck to find diesel.

Disadvantages of Petrol Engines

Petrol engines are far from perfect. These are a few main drawbacks of a vehicle powered by petrol.

  • CO2 Emissions – For decades, environmentalists and those concerned about the state of our planet have decried the CO2 particulates that release into the air when an engine runs on petrol. While advances in technology resulted in cleaner burning, emissions from the one and a half billion cars in the world are still a hazard to the Earth.
  • Lower Resale Value – Even the best petrol-powered cars on the market will lose some value because of the diminished fuel efficiency and engine capacity typical in petrol engines.
  • Fossil Fuel Dependency – Regardless of the fuel efficiency, improved emissions, or pricing, petrol cars rely on fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are a non-renewable source of energy. When the source of petrol is gone, there is no way to make more. This is a massive disadvantage.

Fuel pump dispenser at a gas station.

Advantages of Diesel Engines

Diesel engines have improved significantly in the past several decades. The improvement led to several advantages over engines powered by petrol.

  • Fuel Efficiency – Typically, a diesel-powered vehicle will get 25-30 per cent better fuel economy than a similar model fueled by petrol. This could translate into a $5,000 savings every year depending on the fuel cost.
  • More Torque – A vehicle powered by diesel will have considerably more pulling power than your average car with a petrol engine. The ability to efficiently pull a boat, trailer, or caravan is a big plus, especially for those who enjoy active lifestyles.
  • Fewer Working Parts – Diesel engines do not have sparkplugs or distributors and never need a tune-up. This translates into a more durable engine.
  • Better Resale Value – Diesel-powered vehicles have a higher resale value than their petrol-powered counterparts. A diesel engine is more durable and can withstand harder wear than a similar petrol engine. Another reason for the higher resale price is perceived value. Diesel engines have the reputation of being strong and nearly unstoppable. Regardless of the statement’s validity, buyers who accept the idea will pay the price difference.

Disadvantages of Diesel Engines

Despite the many good points, diesel engines carry a few disadvantages.

  • Cost – Diesel vehicles cost more than those running on petrol. Generally, a diesel car will cost between $2,500 and $5,000 more than an equivalent petrol-powered car.
  • Expensive repairs and Maintenance – Even though diesel vehicles have exceptionally durable engines, you will likely pay more than a petrol model when it is time for repairs. The same is true for maintenance. Many diesel engines require specific fluids and parts that will come with a high price tag.
  • Regular Maintenance is a Necessity – Because the diesel engine is expensive when it is time for maintenance, some owners will try to avoid taking the vehicle in for routine service. However, neglecting scheduled maintenance of a diesel engine will result in more expensive repairs in the future.
  • Driving Difference – While the difference in the way a diesel drives versus how a petrol car drives may not be a disadvantage, it is a sticking point for the drivers who love a revving engine and swift acceleration. However, diesel owners may prefer the overtaking power of diesel and the ability to tow most things with ease.

The impact of the pros and cons of petrol and diesel engines depends on the preference of the driver. Neither type is perfectly awful or flawless.

Choosing the right car that fits your budget can often be a challenge. You can quickly find yourself in over your head when you add essential factors like insurance and loan costs.

Staff at Loans Unlimited.

If you need professional guidance regarding your next car, reach out to the professionals at Loans Unlimited. We have over 25 years in the business and can help you iron out the details of financing and insuring your vehicle no matter what kind of car you want.