09 Mar 2015

A question about : New used car.. Petrol or Diesel?

Good afternoon all,

Just after a little advice.

I'm looking at buying a second hand car, I have decided on what make and model ect but can't decide if a petrol or diesel would be better.

I will travel to and from work 5 days a week at a 20 mile round trip. Then every other weekend I cover about 540 motorway miles. With my work commute only being a short one I'm not convinced i would get the benefit of a diesel, on the other hand the motorway trips every other weekend would be more suited to a diesel?

What do you guys think?

I should add that both petrol and diesel cars cost more or less the same to buy.



Best answers:

  • Your motorway trips push you up to 14,000 miles per year with another 4k miles coming from your commute plus all your odds and sods this suggests you will drive about 20k miles a year.
    Definitely suitable for diesel with the added advantage of long motorway miles to allow the DPF regeneration to complete.
    Use this to do the sums and help you decide:-
  • Conventional wisdom suggests at least 12-15k miles per year with regular long runs to make diesel a good proposition.
    Diesel is typically lower in road fund licence, has better economy but
    more expensive to repair if something goes wrong and fuel is also more per litre.
  • Break even point for Dielsel vs petrol used to be circa 15k miles per year.
    As you will be doing more than that, it could be beneficial for you to buy a diesel. (calculate your annual mileage as 19,260 from what you have put).
    Modern diesels do require a good run at operating temperature down a motorway every so often (to get rid of the soot accumulation in the dpf filter) and it appears your travel would suffice this too.
  • Previous two posts beat me to it....
  • Thanks all!!!
    Super fast response!!
    I'll check out that real MPG.
  • Don't forget to research carefully the Diesel engine especially you are considering, petrols tend with some exceptions to be fairly robust, thats no longer the case with many Diesels, exacerbated by idiotic service intervals designed to attract the new buyer/leaser.
    Most Diesels tend to attract a premium, it should be a no brainer going for that option given your usage, so why are the two variants similarly priced, that would be nagging at the back of my mind.
  • Diesel all the way, just swapped my 2014 Focus ST2 Petrol for the new Diesel ST.
    Petrol mileage was averaging 26 mpg
    Diesel whilst still not run in yet is 46 mpg
    The Focus is exactly the same price Diesel or Petrol and whilst there is more power in the petrol it is not usable unless perfect conditions as the car cannot handle 250bhp.
    Many second hand cars are no more expensive as diesel, when I bought my Passat 3 years ago the petrol were more expensive (second hand)
  • Diesel residuals are usually higher (with the right car, less so on small diesels), so you'll pay more second hand-although it should hold that higher value.
  • Just a quick thought!
    What about a hybrid like the Lexus CT200H things?
  • Probably a better bet with the Prius, bigger car all round without the badge premium to pay.
    I'm a fan of Toyota's hybrids, been a success from day one and are standing the test of time well.
    Though that is very much a minority viewpoint here.