Petrol is generally praised highly by traditionalist motorists as being better to drive than diesel. Generally the big difference when driving them is how they deliver their power. A diesel car will have less gear changes and provide a more relaxed drive whereas a petrol powered car will mean more revs, more gear changes and arguably a more exciting drive.
When considering which kind of car to buy it is worth thinking about the types of journeys you will have. How often, how far and what sort of roads your travel on are factors that will affect your decision. If you commute to work and have to drive on the motorway frequently which means clocking up more miles, it would be wise to choose a diesel engine. Shorter journeys within the city or on winding country roads would be more appropriate for a petrol fuelled car which means you can take full advantage of the necessary gear changes.
Inherently petrol cars are less efficient than diesel. Diesel cars are more expensive at petrol pumps however they run more efficiently meaning you have to fill them up less. A diesel engine produces less CO2 emissions than petrol which means cheaper tax and insurance costs due to government regulations. Climate change is arguably one of the biggest environmental threats to our planet so the government have increased the amount of car tax you will pay based on the emissions and fuel type. Although diesel engines will emit lower CO2 emissions, they produce much higher levels of pollutants which are still an issue. Advances in engineering have blurred the lines between petrol and diesel in terms of performance and refinement.
Upfront, diesel is the more expensive option as diesel powered cars are more expensive to buy and fuel costing more at the pump. However, due to the efficiency of diesel engines you won’t have to fill up as often as a petrol engine which is usually 15-20% less efficient than a petrol model. On average, diesel cars are on average £1,500 more expensive than petrol for a standard family hatchback. Depreciation is another factor to consider that is often overlooked compared to other costs. Resale values have a big influence in deciding whether petrol or diesel will be the most cost effective. Petrol cars are more likely to depreciate more than diesel engine cars as they are not as efficient.