Jan 102019
 

Petrol v DieselPetrol vs Diesel Cars – Which One is Better?

When buying a car, there are a lot of elements to consider. Some choices – 2-door or 4-door, black or white, leather or cloth – are easy to make and are informed almost entirely by your personal taste. But, some choices – like whether you want a car that is petrol or diesel powered – requires a bit more research. Why? Because your choice could have financial, environmental and experiential consequences.

The Cost of Petrol Cars Vs. Diesel Cars

The cost of a car isn’t calculated using the purchase price alone. You also must factor in the cost of fuel, tax, insurance and servicing. So, while the cost of a comfortable, 4-door car with a diesel engine will cost around £1,500 more upfront than the equivalent car with a petrol engine, it could cost less over time.

Historically, this upfront cost was offset for owners of diesel cars because of lower fuel costs and reduced tax rates. Now, only the former applies. Before April 2018, drivers with cars that produced less than 100g/km of CO2 emissions (for example a Volvo S60, Audi A4 Saloon, or Hyundai i30 Tourer) got a tax break. As of April 2018, though, drivers with diesel cars – even those that produce less than 100g/km of CO2 – are required to pay tax.

But, diesel cars are still – in general – more fuel efficient and therefore require less fuel. While the cost of fuel per litre is slightly higher for diesel, the fuel economy (which is higher both on the motorway and around town) supports lower running costs.

When you also figure in the extra cost of car insurance which, for diesel cars, tends to be 10-15% higher because repairs on diesel cars tend to be more expensive, one could make the argument that in general, petrol cars cost less. Of course, this is completely dependent on the make and model.

The takeaway: do your research! The purchase price is just part of the equation.

Do Diesel Engines Pollute More Than Petrol Engines?

A lot of the conversation around diesel cars has to do with their environmental impact and, in particular, their toxic emissions. But, if you look back several years, you’ll see that in reaction to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol to reduce greenhouse gas emission (especially CO2), diesel was actually promoted as the environmentally friendly option. This, again, comes down to the cars’ fuel economy.

While diesel fuel does contain more carbon than petrol, their CO2 emission tends to be lower because diesel engines are a lean-burn meaning they use less fuel and more air compared to petrol engines.

So, what’s changed?  Nothing…in terms of CO2 emissions. Now, the public (and governments) are equally concerned about toxic emissions that are immediately harmful to humans.

Both petrol and diesel engines produce nitrogen oxides, but petrol cars have a built-in three-way catalytic converter that cleans up these toxins to emit significantly less than diesel cars. Diesel cars have something similar – a diesel particulate filter or DPF – but these require regular maintenance.

This explains why, in the UK, new MOT rules dictate that diesel cars with a DPF can’t have visible smoke coming from their exhaust and can’t show any evidence of tampering. Both result in an automatic fail.

Given the environmental impact, higher tax rates, and more strict MOT rules, some people are starting to wonder if diesel cars will one day be banned. While it’s impossible to answer this question, it is worth mentioning that the UK government is under significant pressure to ban both diesel and petrol cars by 2032 to ensure all cars on the road are zero emission by 2042.

Are Diesel or Petrol Cars More Powerful?

 If you’re looking for a car with some serious ‘get-up-and-go’, you might prefer a diesel powered vehicle. Diesel produces huge amounts of torque (power), which explains why lorries, buses and other large vehicles are often diesel powered. Torque allows for better overtaking power and towing ability but that’s not to say that petrol cars won’t get you where you’re going.

So, Which is Better?

That’s up to you! Both come with a list of pros and cons and it’s important that you decide what’s important to you when buying a car, whether it’s used or new.

Whichever you go for, make sure you protect yourself in the event of unexpected vehicle failure by getting a quote with Warranty Direct today!

Policies underwritten by Pinnacle Insurance plc. Arranged and administered by Warranty Direct. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

 

Oct 162018
 

Warranty Direct used the latest data from GlobalPetrolPrices to compare different global fuel costs and calculate how far you would travel on a series of iconic car journeys around the world on twenty pounds’ worth of petrol.

As announced earlier in July, these are the top five most expensive and cheapest petrol rates around the world:

Bottom 5 least expensive countries Cost per litre ($) Top 5 most expensive countries Cost per litre ($)
Venezuela 0.01 Hong Kong 2.20
Iran 0.29 Norway 2.08
Sudan 0.34 Iceland 1.98
Kuwait 0.35 Netherlands 1.95
Algeria 0.35 Greece 1.94

While not in the top five most expensive countries, it’s still bad news for the UK. Our rates came in the bottom 15% of the study (129th) with petrol costing $1.71 per litre.

As a result, drivers taking on one of the country’s most famous routes – Land’s End to John o’ Groats – using UK fuel rates, wouldn’t even make it a fifth of the journey (16%) on a £20 tank of fuel. The total cost of the journey would cost £122 to complete.

US and UK global petrol rates rankings, compared with the rest of the world:

Global Ranking Country Cost per litre ($)
36 United States 0.85
129 United Kingdom 1.71

Comparatively, US drivers taking the route from Cornwall to Scotland could complete the journey on just £61 worth of fuel, if using the US fuel rate ($0.85 per litre).

The USA performed well in the study, with petrol prices appearing in the top quarter cheapest in the world (36th). US drivers pay less than a quarter of the fuel tax their UK counterparts pay, meaning they benefit from much lower prices.

US drivers could even drive the famous US Route 50 (3,017 miles) on just £205 worth of fuel. To put this into perspective, driving the same route on UK petrol prices would cost more than double (£422).

Hong Kong posts the highest global fuel prices, with a litre of petrol costing $2.20, which is over 200 times as much as it costs in Venezuela (the cheapest country). This means a driver from Hong Kong would need to spend £157 to make the 874-mile journey from Land’s End to John o’ Groats.

European countries dominate the top 5 most expensive petrol prices, with Norway, Iceland the Netherlands and Greece taking spots 2-5 respectively.

Norway posts the second most expensive fuel prices in the world – $2.08 per litre – with high tax levies to blame for Europe’s extreme petrol prices. In fact, £20 would only enable Norwegian drivers to complete 13% of the Land’s End to John o’ Groats route.

Native drivers taking on an equivalent iconic route in Norway – Trondheim to Sandefjord – would also only make it 39% of the distance on £20 of fuel.

Venezuela keeps fuel prices drastically low due to government regulation, meaning prices haven’t changed since 1997.

Such low rates could see you complete the Land’s End to John o’ Groats journey on just 72p and the longest drivable distance on Earth (from Sagres, Portugal to Khasan, Russia) on just £10 worth of fuel, and still have over a quarter of a tank left.

The contrast between the cheapest and most expensive countries is further emphasised when you consider a trip to the moon. On £1,000 worth of fuel, a driver from Hong Kong would only make it 2% of the way to the moon, whereas a Venezuelan driver would make 511% of the journey.

Warranty Direct also completed an analysis of several other well-known routes including; the Karakoram Highway, the longest drivable distance on Earth and Argentina’s Ruta.

See how other countries compared here (link to infographic)

Simon Ackers, CEO at Warranty Direct commented on the findings:

“The results of our latest data analysis are really interesting and the driving routes help to visualise the size of the gap in fuel prices across the world. Although most people wouldn’t drive these journeys in one go, they go to show how much the price gap can add up”.

Nov 252015
 

Via our Facebook and Twitter feeds, we at Warranty Direct like to pick out and share some of the big motoring stories that we have noticed from the various online motoring news outlets of the internet. Here are three of the biggest stories we’ve shared recently.

How Quick Are Your Reactions – The Telegraph

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Telegraph take a look at a new online driving game that assesses users’ age based on their reaction times in simulated emergency stops. While it’s been seen as fun and addictive, the game has a serious aspect with implications for road safety as research highlights some alarming results.

Turbo gives petrol cars a boost as diesel faces backlash – BBC News

 

 

 

 

 

The BBC reports on how turbo charged petrol engines are helping to improve better fuel economy and lower emissions without a comparable loss of performance. With diesel registrations on the decline, it seems that motorists are now favouring the special petrol engines

Tesla Model S recalled over seatbelt failure – AutoCar

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tesla are conducting a voluntary recall of all 90,000 Model S electric cars due to a seatbelt failure discovered in Europe. One of the Model S cars was found to have a fault with the front seat belt that was not properly connected to the outboard lap pretensioner. Customers wishing to get their car checked are advised to book appointments.

Don’t forget we share more motoring news through our social media feeds so follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ to be up to date with the motoring world as well as the latest news from Warranty Direct.