RAC Cars News


4 Cars Which Prove Diesel Really Is Cheaper

By raccars Published

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For years now, diesel fuelled cars have been the go to choice for thrifty drivers, as they are well known to be more efficient than petrol models. However, it is equally common knowledge that diesel cars cost more to buy in the first place, so do the savings made on fuel really cover that initial purchase price discrepancy?

Diesel and petrol versions of the cars below, at the same trim level, have been compared, to measure how many miles you have to drive before the savings on fuel match the extra outlay of buying the diesel car in the first place. The comparison has been made exclusive of road tax or servicing costs.

Ford C-MAX

Ford's sophisticated EcoBoost petrol engine is one of the most advanced and economical on the market and is giving buyers a real choice between petrol and diesel fuelled cars, without having to compromise too much on performance or cost. While the diesel version is £500 more expensive initially, it is a little more efficient - 16,000 miles would cover the difference in cost between the two models.

Hyundai i30

Hyundai is just getting better and better and its diesel engines are praised by owners. However, you would need to drive almost 30,000 miles to cover the extra £1,690 you'll pay for the 1.6 CRDi instead of the 1.6 litre petrol model. Based upon an average of about 10,000 miles per year, that's nearly three years of ownership to recoup the extra cost of buying diesel.

Vauxhall Astra

The sensible and practical Astra comes with an efficient diesel engine but it would still take more than 68,000 miles of driving to make up for the higher purchase price of a 1.6 CDTi over a 1.4 litre petrol model, for example. Unless you're a very high mileage buyer, opting for diesel in this case is unlikely to save you much money in the long run.

Volkswagen Golf

VW's TSI petrol engines are so impressive that they are almost making their diesel models obsolete. You can buy a 1.6 TDI SE for only £855 more than its 1.4 litre TSI SE petrol equivalent, but would need to drive 49,745 miles to win back at the petrol station what you spent on the initial purchase.

Overall, it's becoming harder to make an argument for diesels over petrol engines based upon fuel economy alone, with manufacturers currently putting the work in to improve their petrol units that was so successfully spent on diesels a few years ago.

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