Whether you’re a first-time buyer or an experienced car owner, when it comes to buying a new or used car, there’s a lot to consider. What’s your budget? Will you be using a car finance company? What type of car are you looking for?
While budget and finance need to be considered carefully, you also need to think about the type of car you want and can afford. When buying a car, you’re going to be faced with four car options: petrol, diesel, hybrid, and electric.
When it comes to hybrid and electric cars, these are becoming increasingly popular, but the overwhelming majority of cars on the road are still petrol and diesel-powered. So, if you’re buying used, chances are, you’ll end up getting one of these types of cars. But which is better?
To help you decide, we’re going to guide you through the pros and cons of each fuel type, and how they vary on an economic level, so you can decide what type of car is best for your needs.
What’s the difference between petrol and diesel?
There are a number of characteristics that make petrol and diesel stand out from the other.
With petrol vs diesel, the former tends to be more efficient in the short term with regards to fuel costs, and petrol cars produce substantially less local air pollution thanks to the way their engines are constructed. Petrol cars also tend to be smoother and quieter in their ride as well.
For diesel vs petrol, on the other hand, diesel really excels in towing heavy loads. This is why many diesel vehicles tend to be off-road vehicles, vans, and trucks.
Diesel engines are also excellent at handling long motorway trips at continuous speeds, and have greater flexibility in their engine’s rev variation in higher gears, reducing slowing and accelerating issues.
Is petrol better than diesel?
You might assume from the pros we’ve just highlighted that petrol is superior to diesel, but that’s not always the case. When asking, “is petrol better than diesel?”, we need to look at more specific scenarios.
First and foremost, while petrol does produce less local pollution than diesel, diesel actually produces less CO2, making them more environmentally friendly, especially over long distances.
Petrol isn’t as fuel-efficient as diesel, either. You’ll wind up using more petrol for long journeys than you would with diesel, costing you more when you fill up and potentially meaning you pay more tax due to the CO2 output of your car.
Is diesel more expensive than petrol?
At first glance, diesel certainly appears more expensive than petrol. The complex nature of their engines means they’re often the more expensive vehicle to buy, and diesel often costs a few pence more than petrol at the pumps.
But a key difference between petrol and diesel is fuel efficiency. While you pay less at the pumps for petrol, the moment you hit the road, you’re using more fuel.
How many miles can a diesel car do?
Asking “how many miles can a diesel car do?” is a valid question, if you want to be sure you’re getting the best value for money. And as you’d expect, diesel cars have a much higher average mpg than petrol cars.
On average, a diesel car will do 70 miles per gallon compared to an average of 50 miles per gallon for the typical petrol car. Of course, this will vary between cars, but generally speaking, diesel cars will go further with their fuel.
Is petrol or diesel better for short journeys?
While we’ve spoken about how useful diesel is over long journeys, for short journeys, the opposite is true. Petrol engines are more adaptable and fuel-efficient in the short term, making them perfect for short journeys.
The advantages of diesel engines only start when you’re going over long distances or pulling heavy loads, so if you’re not doing this regularly, then a petrol-powered car will possibly be the better option for both fuel, environmental, and budget costs.
Is it worth buying a diesel car?
With all that in mind, you should have a good idea whether or not you want a diesel or petrol car. For experienced car users who know they make a lot of long journeys or need good torque and rev space, a diesel car could be for you.
But for someone buying their very first car, or only making short trips here and there, a petrol car is likely the better choice. Buying a petrol car will help you save money on your car finance, making it easier to repay and apply for in the future.
Here at Zuto, we help old and new buyers alike get the car finance they need to drive their perfect car. From HP car finance and PCP finance to car loans for bad credit, our team of experts are ready and willing to help you.
Get in touch today to start your finance journey, or head over to the Zuto blog for more pieces like this one.