Looking for a new car? Fuel your decision with the facts on petrol and diesel

8th August 2017

When purchasing a new car, the question of a petrol or diesel engine may be the first that you ask yourself.

After all, unlike the colour or style, the fuel you use in your vehicle is likely to affect both its power and impact on your pocket. When it comes to petrol vehicles which are cheaper on the forecourt, is it really a case of ‘less is more’? Or should you pay a little more upfront and reap a bigger saving over the months?

Diesel was largely considered to provide better fuel economy and result in paying less tax; however, with new diesel cars no longer benefitting from VED discounts, the positives may be negated for some.

A practical consideration is that many current diesel models are fitted with a diesel particulate filter (DPF), which can become clogged if you don’t often drive at higher speeds. Given that they can be very costly to clear, it might be unwise to opt for diesel if driving on motorways is a rarity.

Similarly, a diesel car will often cost more to buy than a petrol version of the same model. Previously, one could claw some of this money back through savings in tax and fuel, but this is now lessened with current VED tax rules. Diesel vehicles used to be in a cheaper bracket than their petrol equivalent (and generally still are, if purchased before April 2017). This was due to lower levels of CO2. However, the current rules dictate that new vehicles purchased from the 1st of April 2017 must pay a standard rate of £140 a year from the second year of ownership, thus swallowing some of those frugal savings.

When it comes to topping up your tank, diesel does tend to cost less in the long run, thanks to better fuel economy. So, although it may be a couple of pence more per litre, you’ll actually spend less overall. The more miles you cover, the more you save; but if you only use your car to pop to the shops, it probably won’t be dramatic. Those who travel long distances, however, could certainly consider diesel.

In addition, diesel is often a good choice if you need extra pulling power; diesel vehicles often produce high amounts of torque in comparison to a petrol counterpart. However, petrol and hybrid alternatives are also being developed to increase torque, so it’s worth doing some extra research if this is your primary concern.

As we have seen from the changes to VED road tax, the future of motoring can certainly make a difference to how well your vehicle holds its value. With some cities introducing new charges to penalise the use of older diesel vehicles, it’s certainly worth looking to tomorrow, if you’re considering purchasing a new car today.

Audi produce a wealth of petrol and diesel vehicles to suit many different needs. Why not take a look?

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