The following article comes from specialist car dealers and bestofrichmond members Palmdale Motors..
Far too many people assume that diesel-engined cars are better because they are more fuel efficient and therefore cheaper to run than petrol cars.
This is true, BUT petrol cars are generally cheaper to buy than their diesel equivalents and so for most drivers a petrol car is a better investment.
And I have a very good example to prove my point. Recently, a good family friend was considering buying an Audi TT and, being a high-mileage driver, assumed that only a 2.0 TDI (diesel) car would work for her...
THE BASIC INFORMATION
Abigail's dream car = 2008/9 Audi TT
Abi's average annual mileage = 18,000
In the diesel corner...
2.0 TDI - 53 MPG
Cost of a diesel car = £22,000
In the petrol corner...
2.0T FSI - 36 MPG
Cost of a petrol car = £20,000
Expected length of ownership of the car = 2 years
At first glance, this looks like a no-brainer. Abi's high mileage mixed with the huge difference in fuel economy between the two cars makes it look as if the diesel car is a must.
THE MAGIC OF MATHS
2.0 TDI TT (Diesel) = 53 MPG
18,000 miles = 18,000/53 = 340 gallons
340 gallons = 1,546 litres of fuel per year
Average UK diesel price = 117.8p per litre
TOTAL ANNUAL FUEL COST = £1,821
2.0T FSI TT (Petrol) = 36 MPG
18,000 miles = 18,000/36 = 500 gallons
500 gallons = 2,273 litres of fuel per year
Average UK diesel price = 115.1p per litre
TOTAL ANNUAL FUEL COST = £2,616
DIESEL FUEL SAVING PER YEAR = £795
DIESEL FUEL SAVING, 2 YEARS = £1,590
So, if Abi buys the diesel car she is:
Amazingly, the petrol cars wins!
Of course, the results will vary depending on how long you plan to keep your car, the price difference between petrol and diesel versions, and the related fuel economy.
Although Abi would have broken even part-way through year 3, a similar calculation we did for a client buying a Vauxhall Zafira showed that they would finally break even after 53 years... amazingly, they also opted for a petrol car!
Member since: 10th July 2012
I launched The Best of Richmond in 2005 and am passionate about supporting all things local. In particular, we work hard to showcase the best local businesses who give the borough its character and make...
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