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Is diesel still the more economical purchase?

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There was a time when choosing the right fuel for your car was an easy choice.

Over the past decade diesel has shed its old image of traditionally very loud, smelly engines best served as agricultural working vehicles and have become more fashionable, thanks to car manufacturers making them cleaner and more efficient.

Opting for diesel suddenly became a very simple decision but with the Chancellor making diesel more expensive than petrol, suddenly choosing between the two became less clear cut.

Measuring the benefits

Were it simply down to efficiency and miles per gallon, diesel is still without doubt the more attractive option boasting the superior fuel economy.

Though advances in petrol engine technology have seen them improve, diesel engines are still more efficient; with CO2 levels reduced meaning low car tax liability.

With new cars depreciating in value the moment they’re driven off the forecourt it should also be noted that diesel cars will also typically retain their value better than their petrol counterparts.

The price of motor trade insurance on the other hand can vary by model and can favour either option, so check before you buy.

Disadvantages of diesel

The advantages of going diesel are crystal clear but all this comes at a price with manufacturers asking a premium purchase-price for diesel models – typically up to £2000 more for models of the same specification.

As previously mentioned diesel fuel prices in the UK have increased meaning it could take far longer than you would think to recoup the price premium of a diesel car unless you’re covering a significant number of miles.

Likewise recent surveys have shown that diesel-powered cars are slightly less reliable than petrol ones, often suffering from blocked DPS, meaning higher motor trade insurance premiums and potentially more expensive maintenance and repair costs.

To conclude, it’s clear that diesel is no longer the obvious choice for drivers who want to save money long-term. If you’re regularly covering long distances on the motorway then diesel may still be the more attractive option, however if you’re a low-mileage, town-dwelling driver petrol is the fuel of choice.

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