Petrol or Diesel?

(13 Posts)
Roma2013 Thu 13-Jun-13 07:35:18

Can someone explain the pros and cons of petrol v diesel for me in a simple way?

Need a small family car. Car wd be used 'about town' (kids' activities, shopping etc). Also work (80 miles round trip daily for 6 months of year). Want roof bars, decent boot for camping, air-con, iphone plug thingy, need to put bikes on back of car occasionally too.

Any help most welcome.

Plus, how the hell do people afford cars cos I ve just looked at a car mag and alot with the above are 12-13k!! Okay that's new but even used cars are costly

lljkk Thu 13-Jun-13 08:07:03

Diesel is more efficient so cheaper to run if you do high mileage, but the repairs cost more so risky if low mileage. Diesel is better if you might drive thru a flooded road.
Petrol needs filling up more often (I know sounds like a small thing, but noticeable!), cheaper per litre usually, and is slightly less polluting and smelly.

So high mileage choose diesel, low mileage choose petrol.

You need to be doing over 20,000 a year for diesel to be economic, accordng to one set of figures I saw.

If you want modern technology fitted as standard then you will probably need a model that's less than a couple of years old. You may get lucky with an ex-demonstration model, but you will be paying a lot for a decent car. The Nissan Note might suit your requirements and be within your price range.

lljkk Thu 13-Jun-13 08:20:18

Wow, I thought it was more like over 9k miles a year, 9-10k is about average annual mileage, I think.
Your specs sound high, OP, I wouldn't care about half that stuff. How many children do you need to transport?

WMittens Thu 13-Jun-13 08:54:22

The threshold for diesel economy varies, depending on the relative economies of cars being compared, and how much maintenance/repair is likely to be required (e.g. a modern diesel with Diesel Particulate Filter is going to cost you quite a bit if the DPF fails, same for a dual mass flywheel, diesels are a bit harder on them than petrols I think).

Factoring maintenance such as this in will push the threshold to 15K/16K I think.

I have a diesel company car which is fine while it's new and under warranty, but my own cars (6, 12 and 17 years old) are all petrol.

samuelwhiskers Thu 13-Jun-13 09:02:20

We have just decided to buy a petrol rather than replace our 10 year diesel mainly because petrol engines are cheaper to buy, cheaper to service and don't need long motorway journeys to keep them "ticking" over. The new petrol engines these days are so economical and don't have the issues of the diesel engines. Just worked out the running costs of our 10 year old diesel and it cost so much on filters, servicing and spare parts. Whilst our other petrol engine car was so much cheaper to run and service over the same period. The new petrol engines will do the same litres/km as an older diesel.

AKAK81 Thu 13-Jun-13 10:11:07

Modern diesels are generally not suitable for lots of short journeys around town. This may be a problem for you for 6 months of the year.

Roma2013 Thu 13-Jun-13 11:48:20

Two kids to transport. Oh, are my specs high? Not asking for leather seats, or anything like that. Isn t it usual to get something you can plug a smartphone into given their prevalance? Decent boot for camping equip can t be that unusual, surely

AlexMumsnetCars (MNHQ) Thu 13-Jun-13 14:19:30

You might want to take a look at Mumsnet Cars' advice on petrol vs diesel, too.

Roma2013 Thu 13-Jun-13 18:58:44

Thanks Alex

lljkk Thu 13-Jun-13 21:49:07

I think smartphone capability is pretty high spec. You will pay more for that alone. I have it on my car & couldn't care less. I chose my car for the headrests. AirCon isn't a feature on cheap older cars, either, or a cheap option to run.

Good to read to read petrol more economical up to 15k miles (suits me).

Affording a car can be hard. You should be able to get a 3 year old car for less than half of it's new price and a modern car should last 15-20 years/200,000 miles if looked after. I mostly buy 3 year old cars and aim to keep them at least 8 years.

Air con shouldn't be a problem. It was a high spec item, but these days it's mostly the very low spec cars that don't have it.

A small family car plus a big boot might be an issue. Generally you need a bigger car to get a big boot.

For the iphone, do you just want a charger? I would just buy a plug in adapter for that and similarly removable roof bars are a good choice as they won't increase fuel consumption when they aren't on the car.

Fibot Thu 27-Jun-13 20:16:56

For kits, I would suggest something Japanese or Korean - you tend to get better spec for your money (Air Con/Climate Control, DSC, TSC, ESC, Anti-lock brakes, etc). You'll surprised how many car do not have anti-lock brakes as standard - Toyota for one!

It may be worth looking for estate versions of the smaller cars eg Astra, Golf.

Re Diesel/Petrol - Diesels are not worth it if most of your journeys are short, they take a long time to warm up and it is only when they are warm that you get the better fuel economy.
But with the newer petrol engines now being more economical, we're sticking with Petrol after having a Diesel company car for 3 year and my car is Petrol.

Have a look at AutoTrader and select a price range and age and see what there is. For details look at www.parkers.co.uk.

Happy searching smile

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