Petrol vs. diesel

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Petrol Vs. Diesel Car Insurance

Choosing between petrol and diesel cars can have many differences, including the potential to save money, even on your car insurance.

Petrol vs diesel cars: which should I buy?

The UK government has announced that new petrol and diesel cars will only be available in car showrooms until 2030, and new hybrid cars will be phased out by 2035. However, new and used petrol and diesel cars are still available for purchase currently. When deciding between a petrol or diesel car, there are a few factors to consider, such as cost, fuel efficiency, and environmental impact.

Petrol cars are generally cheaper to buy than diesel cars, but they may have higher fuel costs due to lower fuel efficiency. They also produce more emissions, which could make them more expensive to insure in the long run. Diesel cars, on the other hand, are more expensive to buy, but they have higher fuel efficiency and produce fewer emissions, which could lead to lower insurance costs. However, diesel cars also tend to have higher maintenance costs.

It’s worth noting that hybrid cars offer a compromise between petrol and diesel, with lower emissions and fuel costs than petrol cars, but with the convenience of not needing to charge them like electric cars. However, hybrids can be more expensive to insure than petrol cars.

Electric Car

Which cars are cheaper to buy?

Diesel cars are typically more expensive to buy than petrol cars, with an average difference of around £1,500 for the same make and model family car. However, due to the negative publicity surrounding diesel cars in recent years, it may be possible to negotiate a significant discount with the dealer.

On the other hand, hybrid and electric cars are generally more expensive than their petrol or diesel counterparts. This is likely one reason why only 0.6% of insurance quote requests through MoneySuperMarket are currently for electric vehicles.

Which cars are cheaper to fuel and maintain?

Diesel fuel is slightly more expensive than petrol in the UK. However, diesel cars generally have better fuel efficiency, making them more economical for drivers who travel longer distances. But, it’s important to keep in mind that newer diesel cars often have sophisticated filters and emission systems, which can make them more expensive to repair compared to petrol cars.

When it comes to maintenance costs, diesel cars tend to be more expensive to service than petrol cars. This is because diesel engines require more specialised and expensive parts. Electric and hybrid cars, on the other hand, tend to require less maintenance overall, as they have fewer moving parts.

Therefore, it’s important to consider your driving habits and mileage when deciding which type of car to choose. If you drive long distances frequently, diesel may be a better option for you. However, if you drive fewer miles and want to save on maintenance costs, a petrol or electric/hybrid car may be more suitable.

Which cars are cheaper to insure?

When it comes to car insurance premiums, insurers consider various factors, and the type of car is just one of them. Other factors such as engine size, value, and safety rating can also impact the cost of insurance premiums.

While the type of fuel a car uses may not be a significant factor in setting insurance premiums, the cost of repair and replacement parts can make a difference. For instance, diesel cars may cost more to insure than petrol cars as their parts and repairs can be more expensive.

According to data from MoneySuperMarket, petrol cars make up 59.4% of insured vehicles, while diesel cars account for 40%. The average annual premiums for petrol and diesel cars are £598.99 and £641.76, respectively. Meanwhile, electric cars only make up 0.6% of insured vehicles and have an average annual premium of £723.55.

It’s worth noting that these figures are based on fully comprehensive policies with one driver holding a full UK driver’s licence. The data was collected between January and June 2021 and was accurate as of August 2021.

Engine Type


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Which cars are cheaper to tax?

In the past, diesel cars were favoured with lower tax rates because of their relatively low CO2 emissions. However, due to their high levels of Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) and tiny soot particulates that can cause health problems, including asthma attacks, older diesel cars now attract higher taxes. In fact, diesel cars are expected to face even higher taxes in the coming years.

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It’s worth noting that newer diesel vehicles are fitted with filters and systems that limit harmful emissions and qualify for lower tax rates. Additionally, electric and hybrid vehicles are often subject to lower tax rates or are even exempt from road tax altogether.

Which cars are greener?

When it comes to the environmental impact of cars, it’s important to consider the emissions they produce. All cars with combustion engines, including hybrids, produce nitrogen oxides (NOx), which contribute to air pollution and can harm human health. However, diesel cars tend to produce more NOx than petrol cars, with diesel engines emitting around eight times as much NOx as petrol engines.

It’s also worth noting that hybrid and electric cars are generally considered to be greener than traditional petrol and diesel cars, as they produce fewer emissions overall. While the production and disposal of electric car batteries can have environmental impacts, they are generally considered to be less damaging to the environment than the ongoing emissions produced by petrol and diesel cars. Additionally, hybrid cars can offer the benefits of both petrol and electric cars, with lower emissions than traditional petrol or diesel cars but without the range limitations of fully electric vehicles.

What is E10 petrol?

E10 petrol is a new standard petrol grade in the UK that contains up to 10% renewable ethanol. The aim is to help reduce the CO2 emissions produced by petrol cars. E10 is replacing the previous standard grade, E5 petrol, which contains up to 5% renewable ethanol.

E10 petrol has been used widely in other parts of the world, and it is compatible with all petrol-fuelled cars manufactured since 2011, which means it is suitable for 95% of petrol cars on the road in the UK. E5 petrol will remain available for drivers who have cars that cannot use E10 petrol.

It’s important to note that E10 petrol may not be suitable for older cars, as the higher ethanol content can potentially damage certain engine parts. So, if you’re unsure about whether your car can use E10 petrol, you should check with your car manufacturer or use the UK government’s online vehicle checker tool.

Electric and hybrid cars: the future?

With the UK government’s decision to phase out diesel and petrol models by 2030, it is likely that hybrid and electric cars will become increasingly popular in the near future. In fact, the government has set a target to phase out the sale of all new petrol and diesel cars by 2035.

The benefits of electric and hybrid cars are many, including lower CO2 emissions, reduced fuel costs, and the potential for lower maintenance costs. Furthermore, advances in technology mean that electric and hybrid cars are becoming more affordable and accessible to a wider range of consumers.

As more and more drivers switch to electric and hybrid cars, there will be an increasing need for charging infrastructure to support these vehicles. The government is investing heavily in this area, with plans to install thousands of new public charging points across the country in the coming years.

Hybrid Car

Are electric and hybrid cars cheaper to buy?

While it is true that electric and hybrid cars are generally more expensive than their petrol or diesel counterparts, there are some factors that can offset this higher purchase cost. For example, electric and hybrid vehicles can be cheaper to run in terms of fuel costs, as they require less maintenance and electricity is cheaper than petrol or diesel.

Additionally, the UK government offers financial incentives for those purchasing electric or hybrid vehicles, such as grants for the purchase of new electric cars or discounts on road tax. In some cases, these incentives can help to bring the total cost of ownership for an electric or hybrid vehicle closer to that of a traditional petrol or diesel car.

Are they easier and cheaper to maintain?

In terms of maintenance, electric cars have fewer moving parts than their petrol and diesel counterparts, meaning there is less to go wrong and fewer parts to replace. They also don’t need oil changes or exhaust systems, which can result in significant savings. However, when things do go wrong, repairs to electric cars can be more expensive due to the complex technology involved.

Hybrid cars have both an electric motor and a traditional petrol or diesel engine, so they require more maintenance than electric cars. They also have more parts that can go wrong, such as the battery pack, which can be costly to replace. However, regular servicing should keep them running smoothly, and they can still be cheaper to maintain than traditional petrol or diesel cars.

Overall, while electric and hybrid cars may be more expensive to buy initially, they can save you money, in the long run, thanks to lower fuel and tax costs and potentially cheaper maintenance.

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Are they cheaper to insure?

Like traditional petrol and diesel vehicles, insurance premiums for electric and hybrid cars are determined by a variety of factors, such as age and driving history. As electric cars are still relatively new and can cost more to repair after an accident, they tend to fall into higher insurance groups, making them more expensive to insure than petrol or diesel cars.

In the case of hybrids, however, insurance quotes for these cars are becoming more competitive as they become more popular. Insurance providers recognize that hybrids generally have lower emissions and are often less likely to be involved in accidents due to their advanced safety features, which can help lower premiums.

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Frequently asked questions

For drivers who drive mostly short journeys around towns, a petrol car is recommended over a diesel car. However, if you do a lot of longer journeys or motorway miles, a diesel car may be a better option for you.

In general, diesel cars are more expensive to buy and diesel fuel is slightly more expensive than petrol. However, if you drive on the motorway frequently and cover a lot of miles in a year, a diesel car may have better fuel consumption and be more economical in the long run.

Diesel cars are often more fuel efficient than petrol cars, making them a more economical choice for some drivers.

Diesel fuel contains approximately 10-15% more energy than regular petrol, and historically diesel cars have been cheaper to run.

However, recent changes in regulations and increased awareness of environmental concerns may make it less attractive to some buyers.

It’s important to consider your individual needs and priorities before deciding if a diesel car is worth it for you.

Although the UK government has announced a ban on petrol cars by 2030, buying a petrol car is still a reasonable option for many people. Factors such as budget, location, and infrastructure need to be considered. In general, petrol cars cost less to purchase than diesel cars.

Diesel cars have some disadvantages, including the fact that diesel fuel is usually more expensive than petrol. While servicing may not be required as frequently as with petrol cars, it can be more expensive when needed. Diesel engines produce more nitrogen dioxide (NO2), which is harmful to the environment and can contribute to air pollution. Additionally, diesel engines can be louder than petrol engines.

The disadvantages of a petrol car include less efficiency compared to diesel engines, resulting in the need for more frequent refuelling which can make petrol vehicles more expensive to run in the long term. Petrol cars also tend to be heavier than diesel cars, leading to higher fuel consumption per mile.

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