Are Diesel Cars More Economical?

Posted on August 1, 2023

Are you considering buying a diesel car? If so, you might ask yourself, “Are diesel cars more economical?” The answer to that question is not as simple as one might think. In this article, we’ll delve into the pros and cons of diesel cars, comparing them to petrol cars and exploring their environmental impact. 

Fuel Efficiency

diesel engine

Diesel cars typically outperform petrol cars in terms of fuel efficiency. Diesel engines are renowned for having strong low-end power and torque, which helps them achieve greater mileage, particularly on lengthy excursions.

Diesel vs Petrol

Diesel engines can be up to 20–30% more fuel-efficient than their petrol counterparts. Diesel fuel’s larger energy content and diesel engines’ more effective combustion process are the key causes.

Running Costs

When comparing running costs, diesel cars can be more economical than petrol cars in certain situations.

Fuel Prices

diesel costs

Prices for diesel fuel are typically a little higher than those for petrol. Diesel vehicles, however, can still save money for those who travel a lot of miles thanks to their superior fuel economy.

Maintenance Costs

Diesel particulate filters (DPFs) and more expensive engine oil are the main reasons why maintenance expenses for diesel vehicles can be greater than for petrol vehicles. However, diesel engines can live longer than petrol engines, which might balance some of these added expenses.

Resale Value

Diesel cars often hold their value better than petrol cars, especially in the used car market. This can make diesel cars a more economical choice when considering resale value.

Environmental Impact

The answer to the question “Are diesel cars more economical?” is ambiguous with regard to environmental impact. Diesel vehicles produce more hazardous air pollutants like NOx and particulate matter while producing less CO2 than petrol vehicles. This has resulted in stricter emissions laws for diesel cars, which may impact fuel economy.

The Pros and Cons of Diesel Cars

Before deciding, it’s important to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of diesel cars.


  1. Better fuel efficiency
  2. Higher torque and low-end power
  3. Potentially longer engine life
  4. Better resale value


  1. Higher initial cost
  2. Higher maintenance costs
  3. More harmful air pollutant emissions
  4. Stricter emissions regulations


1. Are diesel cars more economical in the city or on the motorway?

Diesel vehicles are generally more economical on highways because they are more fuel efficient. However, petrol vehicles may get better mileage in urban traffic with a lot of stop-and-go.

2. Is the diesel car market declining?

Yes, the diesel car market has declined in recent years due to the tightening of emissions regulations and the growing popularity of electric and hybrid vehicles.

3. Are diesel cars being phased out?

Some countries have announced plans to phase out sales of new petrol and diesel vehicles in favour of electric vehicles. However, many areas have not yet implemented these plans.

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