What fuel car should I buy?
Does the ban on cars with conventional combustion engines by 2040, confirmed in July 2017 and the new diesel car tax rates which came into force in April 2018 (which mean diesel cars are taxed more heavily), mean that we should rule out buying diesel and petrol cars now?
The Benefits of Diesel cars.
• The main benefit of diesel cars has been better fuel economy compared to petrol equivalents. Of course, the same can be said for hybrids too, however diesel cars still tend to be better on the motorway, whilst hybrids can be more economical around town.
• When pulling away from a stop, diesel engines don’t need to be revved high to get the best acceleration. This can give the feeling of more power in the engine than there actually is.
• Diesel cars are much better if you are towing something. This is why all engines that are used in bigger trucks and lorries use diesel fuel.
• Engine lasts longer and can do more miles than petrol equivalent.
The Disadvantages of a Diesel car.
• Diesel fuel cost more than unleaded, so be prepared to pay more to fill up your tank.
• Diesel cars tend to be slower than their petrol counterparts.
• Diesel cars typically cost more than their petrol equivalent.
• The first year’s tax on a diesel car could be significantly higher than on a petrol vehicle
• With the new rules on tax and some cites like London reviewing a levy on diesel vehicle within the congestion zone, the resell price, which was typically higher than a petrol car is now lowering.
• Despite CO2 emissions decreasing in new diesel cars, there are still tiny particles that are produced which could lead to breathing problems for some individuals.
• Insurance costs could be higher.
• Fuel is a finite resource.
The Benefits of a Petrol Car.
• Petrol cars tend to be slightly cheaper to buy and to service.
• The cost of petrol is cheaper than diesel.
• Petrol engines have historically been less noisy, however diesel engines have improved a lot over the last 10 years.
• Petrol cars tend to accelerate quicker than their diesel counterparts, however they do require the driver to change gear more to get the best out of the engine.
• There is not an increased tax on the first year of driving a petrol car.
The Disadvantages of a petrol car.
• Less mileage and fuel economy per tank.
• Resale value is still lower than a diesel car.
• Maintenance frequency could be higher in a petrol vehicle as it may require more tune ups.
• Difficult to tow with a petrol engine car.
• Contain benzene, which when burned can cause dangerous green house gases.
• Oil is a finite resource.
• Petrol is dangerous to store.
The Benefits of a Hybrid Car.
• Much cleaner and more fuel efficient especially in towns and cities.
• Resale value is very high.
• Low tax bills and congestion charge bills
• Although there are range limits, these are significantly larger than an Electric vehicle.
The Disadvantage of a Hybrid car.
• Much more expensive to buy
• Batteries are expensive to replace.
• More difficult to locate a specialist garage to maintain the vehicle.
• Hybrids produce more emissions than an electric vehicle
• Plug in hybrids need to be charged and the infrastructure in place is not there yet. Plus they take hours to charge.
• Engines tend to be small so not suitable for large loads.
The Benefits of an Electric car.
• Zero emissions and environmentally friendly.
• Very little noise pollution and a very quiet car to drive.
• Xero road tax charge and congestion charge.
• Good resale value.
• Quick acceleration.
This Disadvantage of an Electric car.
• The vehicles are expensive to buy.
• There is a very limited range to these cars before they need to be recharged.
• These cars take multiple hours to recharge.
• The infrastructure of recharging points is not widely available.
• Potential danger to pedestrians as the cars make no sound when they approach.
Overall there are positives and negatives to all car types right now. Moving forward as the infrastructure for hybrid and electric vehicles becomes more widespread and technology around express battery charging, and range catch up, prices will eventually start coming down, making these vehicles more accessible for all. Greg Clark the business secretary also recently said that diesel cars would continue to make sense for some customers and that new diesel engines could be beneficial for the environment.