It’s hard to ignore the incessant sky-rocketing prices at fuel stations – diesel has tipped over the £1.50 a litre mark on many forecourts. With petrol 7p cheaper a litre, is diesel now a no-go?
With no sign of a let up in fuel price– and the possibility of a 3p fuel tax increase in August to rub salt into the wound – is now the time to ditch your diesel and go for an efficient petrol-engine car instead?
Although the 7p difference between petrol and diesel may not sound like much, it equates to nearly £4 more every time you fill up. For example, a Ford Focus hatchback with 55-litre fuel tank will cost you around £80.19 to fill up with diesel, but £76.34 with petrol.
If you only fill your tank up twice a month, it looks like you’ll be losing out on over £90 a year with diesel.
The cost of filling up my car
Even the cost of filling up a small car has gone up by more than a third over the past few years. As the price indicator on the fuel pump ticked swiftly past £60 when I was filling up my Renault Modus last night, I winced and was sorely tempted to stop – how could a supermini cost that much to fill up?
Yet, I’m still better off than plenty of other motorists right now. Why? Because my Modus has a petrol engine. If it had a diesel, it’d have cost at least £3 more.
So should I be smug about my fuel choice, or does the old adage about diesel cars being cheaper in the long run still hold true?
Having plugged the relevant info on my car’s purchase price, mpg, annual mileage and fuel price per litre into our clever petrol vs diesel calculator, I don’t really have that much to be happy about.
Does diesel pay in the long run?
Even with the current painfully high diesel prices, in just under two and a half years I’d be able to recoup the extra cost of filling up a diesel car over a petrol one. I’d even be able to recoup the extra cost of buying a diesel model.
Why? Because despite all the extra costs that come with diesel models, they always do more miles per gallon than petrol ones. For example, the 1.6 petrol Ford Focus averages 47.1mpg, compared to the 1.6 diesel stretching to 67.3mpg.
I drive over 12,000 miles a year, so spend an awful lot on fuel, That means going for a diesel model may well actually save me money in the long run, despite current prices. I’m certainly tempted.
If you’re thinking of buying a new car, how much are the current eye-watering fuel prices affecting your choice of diesel or petrol car?