While cost-conscious diesel drivers currently make up 50% of the UK market, a comparison by Which? has found that a petrol engine can often work out cheaper when typical mileage is taken into account.
Which? compared petrol v diesel on six car models. And while the diesel version of the BMW 5 Series, Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Astra, and Volkswagen Tiguan delivered cheaper driving, it took the average driver as much 14 years to realise the saving.
Which? also looked a reliability of diesel models against petrol and found that petrol were generally easier to maintain, especially in the four to eight year old sector.
It is thought that diesel engines constructed since 2009, and able to meet Euro V emission standards, are so complex that maintenance can be expensive.
Richard Lloyd, executive editor of Which?, said:
“Fuel price rises have been hitting household budgets hard, so it’s important that consumers know they are getting value for money when they buy a car. Diesel cars are known for their fuel efficiency, but with lower pump prices for petrol and a premium price tag for diesel cars, it may make more financial sense for families to go for the petrol version.”
Six REALLY fuel efficient petrol cars:
- Smart Roadster – (automatic) 55.80mpg
- Toyota Aygo – 1.0 VVT-i 51.40mpg
- Citroen C1 – 1.0i 51.40mpg
- Peugeot 107 – 1.0 51.30mpg
- Smart Fortwo coupe – 47.10mpg
- Daihatsu Charade – L251 1.0L EFi 47.10mpg