Diesel or petrol – what to choose?

Green fuel pistols on fuel station.

The eternal dilemma of every person being about to buy a car is: diesel or petrol? After consulting many opinions, reading some guides and carefully weighing all the ‘pros’ and ‘cons’, it turns out that diesels are not as ecological and economical, as the stereotypes suggest. Whereas the gasoline vehicle turns out to be a more expensive option, mainly due to the high fuel consumption.

Petrol engine
The first and most noticeable difference between petrol and diesel is the price – petrol vehicle is much cheaper than its diesel competitor. Interestingly enough, despite similar rates of petrol and diesel, it generates higher costs because it has a higher level of fuel consumption.
What is in favour of a petrol engine is the servicing – the engine has a much simpler structure and does not have so many sensitive elements, which are susceptible to wear and tear. If the everyday use of the car is moving around the city or driving relatively short distances, a better choice would be gasoline. People who travel a lot are likely to choose a diesel engine. What acts on the plus side of the first group is also the possibility to combine petrol with gas installation, which may be an alternative for diesel engines. The cost of a good LPG installation is similar, or even lower, than the price difference between petrol and diesel.

Diesel engine
Diesel engines have been, even quite recently, considered to be a serious competition for gasoline engines; the main reason – attractive prices of fuel. The gasoline was cheaper than diesel, even by tens of cents.
Nowadays, this difference is not so significant, so the choice of the engine should be carefully considered in several other aspects. Firstly, the cars with diesel are still more expensive than the petrol cars. However, it is compensated by the lower (than in the case of petrol) fuel consumption. If you often go for long distances, such a choice would be economically justified.
Unfortunately, diesel engines have changed in several aspects. Modern diesels are equipped, among other things, with a turbocharger, direct fuel injection, dual-mass flywheel and an ‘inconvenient’ particulate filter. All this means that diesel engines approached the operating mode of a gasoline engine. However, the durability, which used to be its characteristic, decreased drastically. The downside of diesels are also the costs of periodic inspections, which are much higher than for gasoline cars.
Why do diesels have a better opinion than gasoline-powered vehicles? First of all, because of some clichés regarding their economic exploitation. But remember that when buying a car with a diesel engine, we have to remember that it will likely be quite exploited – no one buys these cars for the occasional drive to the store once a week.

What to choose?
There’s no denying that the petrol engines are the most common solutions which can be found in cars. The vehicles themselves are much cheaper than diesel cars. Also, any repairs and the purchase of parts in the event of faults are less of a burden to our pocket in comparison with diesels. The biggest drawback, however, is the high cost of fuel. Why is it so important in this case? Because the car with gasoline engine uses much more of it, especially while being stuck in traffic.
How to make the right choice? The first step is to answer the question: how many kilometres during the year am I going to go in my car? While deciding upon a particular drive unit, we have to analyse the way the car is being used and simply calculate whether it is worth investing in less gas-guzzling (but more expensive to buy and service) diesel engine; or on a cheaper servicing of cars with gasoline.

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