Petrol vs diesel – which is best?

14 February 2014 | Bruce Compton

So you’re going to buy a new car, which should it be, petrol vs diesel which should you choose?
With greater fuel economy and lower emissions resulting in lower car tax. diesels have been considered to be the best choice when it comes to running costs. However diesel versions of the same make and model car tend to be more expensive than their petrol counterparts. There has also been a large increase in the economy of petrol engines, this together with cheaper fuel prices on petrol over diesel at the pumps, are diesels still the economical choice?
Then there is the residual value of petrol compared to diesel cars, the diesel versions generally hold their value better than the petrol version, due to the better fuel economy and cheaper road tax. The servicing costs are very similar with either petrol or diesel and with the development of quieter diesel engines, sometimes the rev counter is the only sign that you’re in a diesel and not a petrol car.

Petrol vs diesel, what else to consider

Diesel engines have more torque, which is better for towing and for overtaking at low revs.
Modern diesel cars now also come with diesel particulate filters that trap the soot and black emissions that are usually associated with diesel cars, making them more enviromentally friendly.

So still unsure what’s best?

There are many other variables on which car would be the best choice for your motoring needs, annual milage, the residual value, insurance costs and so on, these can vary depending on the make and model of the car you are looking at buying.
Once you’ve decided on the car model you are looking at buying, you can then compare the price and residual value of the diesel vs petrol, the mpg, road tax and insurance. With this information you can then enter your annual milage into this petrol bill calculator to see your yearly running costs.
Put this yearly cost with all the other information and you have a good idea on the cost of running either a petrol or diesel version of your desired car per year.