Petrol or Diesel, which should you buy?

One of the biggest decisions that people in the UK make when buying a car is whether to go with petrol or diesel. It is indeed an important choice and we thought that we would settle the debate once and for all by using one of the most popular cars as an example.

The car in question is the latest iteration of the Volkswagen Golf and we have chosen similarly specced version both in diesel and petrol. The 1.2 TSI 105 (£18,185) and the 1.6 TDI 105 (£19,800) in order to form a fair comparison over a number of factors, first on this list is arguably the most important.

Fuel Economy

Those in the know understand that fuel economy is more complex than looking to the MPG figures you have to look at the running costs over a given period.

12 months fuel for the petrol at an average fuel price of just over £1.12 a litre with average mileage (12,000) will set you back £1061.51, 12 months in the diesel (£1.18 a litre) will set you back £871.82.

Now that may appear to be a win for the diesel, but bear in mind that the initial purchase price of the petrol is £1,615 lower. Take this into account and it would take a massive 8 years before the diesel began to make sense.

Driving Experience

To drive these cars are likely to have almost no noticeable differences but if you were to closely scrutinise them, the extra weight of the diesel does make it a little less lithe in the corners. With this being pretty much the only difference; this is a win for petrol, but not a major one.

Repair and Maintenance Costs

Repairs for the petrol are cheaper but diesels are designed to go on for longer and need servicing less. This point is one that would differ on a car to car basis but is likely to be a draw overall.


This is an issue of some contention as the average depreciation will always be in diesels favour for one major reason. This is the fact that high value exotica are generally petrol powered and depreciates at a colossal rate, Rolls-Royces can lose more than £50,000 in the first year alone so the average is not to be trusted.

With these skewed results the best that we can count this as is another draw.

And the Winner Is…

So after this exhaustive back and forth it looks as though it is too close to call, it could be argued that either side edges victory but the fact is that you won’t be much worse of whichever you pick. One thing that is sure to throw this result out would be to put petrol in a diesel car which is a fairly common occurrence for those that often switch between.

If you are ever unfortunate enough to do this though worry not as there is help out there, simply relax and give us a call on 0800 634 9827 and we will be happy to come to your rescue.