We have too!
This is one of the hottest topics in the showroom of recent. Following the Introduction of ULEZ and the associated concerns (see our ULEZ blog) along with the further increasing costs of fuel and the media assassination of diesel engines there is strong concerns over the right choice for the future of motoring. Honestly, the right decision is based around three factors which are very different for each client we see: what is the primary usage of the vehicle, how much mileage do you accrue in an annual basis and, as always budget. Firstly, the primary usage of the vehicle is a key influence as to which fuel is right for yourself. Different engines perform better under particular circumstances, so if the vehicle is to be used as a workhorse, pulling trailers and covering large distances as a regular occurrence, the diesel would still be the sensible choice. However, for the everyday family car the decision is by no means clear cut. Depending on your location, your daily journeys can vary hugely. If you live in the heart of the Kent countryside with a 10-mile round trip to the nearest school, shop and convenience store, it would be rational to assume your journeys are going to be quite a bit longer on a general basis than someone who lives in the town with a shop and the station just 0.6 miles away. It is in situations like this where you will see the biggest differences; if your rural commute sees a smooth and winding set of country lanes, single carriageways and then the choice of town or motorway driving you would be more likely to benefit from the added fuel economy of a diesel engine. This is because around town, in a stop start environment the benefit of diesel engines is lessened, mainly because the crawling traffic is hugely inefficient, with a lot of time sat stationary at traffic lights and accelerating, the usual significant difference in consumption is brought down to sometimes as low as 5% more efficient in diesel than petrol engines.
If you only ever drive around town, the total of your motoring activity is likely to be less than 20 miles in a whole day. this is exactly the type of user who would benefit most from a fully electric vehicle (something for another blog in the near future).
Our second qualifier is the annual mileage. It is clear that domestic users have the biggest level of variance, some families might only cover a mere 6,000 miles with others covering nearer the national average of 10,000 miles per annum. Now assuming the cost of diesel is 10 pence per litre (roughly) more expensive than diesel, there is some maths that needs to be calculated. If your diesel car is averaging 40 MPG and the petrol 30MPG allowing a 10 pence more expensive fuel cost for diesel (for this example £1.35 per litre) then you will see associated costs of around £190 per 1,000 miles for petrol and £154 for diesel. These are just examples as the real world throws in many over variants to consider. But is the difference as big as you might have thought?
Finally, budget comes into the equation. The budget affects massively the range of vehicles available to you. which in turn can sometimes make the decision between petrol and diesel even harder. or easier. considering what has already been mentioned. Let’s take another example, 2012 Range Rover Sport is the vehicle in question, proving a hugely popular vehicle for families, there would be two choices to consider here; a V8 petrol offering a claimed 19.0 MPG and a diesel V6 offering a claimed 32 MPG both on a combined cycle. The cost of the vehicle aside, you would assume here that the diesel is going to be much cheaper to run and it would be if you achieved the claimed figures then that would be great. If, however you occasionally drive into London touching the ULEZ zone, a non-compliant diesel would cost you £12.50 each time with the petrol v8 being free to enter, or if you’re only doing short trips and the diesel engine doesn’t get a good run its ability to achieve 32 MPG might be hindered, for sure still offering better than the petrol in an equivalent situation but does this still mean it’s cheaper for you?
One of our finest petrol powered Mercedes-Benz G63's In conclusion, it is very much an individual choice and your personal circumstances affect the decision, meaning there is no blanket or default solution to make here. Especially if your budget is proving it difficult to find particular models with the desired engine, it is almost impossible to find a Mercedes-Benz made between 2008-2012 that isn't fitted with either a diesel or a massive V8 engine. These cars therefore will have a very different set of criteria and appeal to very different buyers.
It is not an easy choice, but we are here to help. Make sure to discuss all of your questions with our sales team, we can help assess all the requirements to make sure you drive away happy.
If you are interested in either of the cars detailed within this post or would like more information on our selection of Audi's, please use the form to the right to enquire with us directly.