How To Choose Between A Petrol And Diesel Car In 2021

petrol car or diesel car

In this blog post, I’m going to tell you whether a petrol or diesel powered car is better for you.

But firstly, what types of car engine powers are there?

We live in a day and age where petrol and diesel prices are quite expensive, and with the introduction of electric cars, hybrid cars and LPG cars, which one is right for you?

I’ve owned both a petrol and diesel car so can speak from both points of view.

However, I haven’t owned an electric, hybrid or LPG car so can only give you my best advise on which one to go with.

Should I Buy A Diesel Car?

The first fuel that I’ll cover is diesel, and it’s loved by a lot of people for the MPG figures.

However, from the government’s point of view, diesel cars are dirty and thus are being phased out with electric and hybrid cars, so is diesel still relevant?


The main perceived problem with diesel powered cars is that they’re dirty and sound terrible, but actually, if you’re doing a lot of miles every year then diesel makes sense.

Understandably, if you only drive around in a city or the occasional motorway trip then a petrol powered car is likely going to be more suited.

Do you own an SUV? 

Even if you don’t do many miles, diesels make sense in larger vehicles – like SUVs for instance.

They’re large vehicles that are likely to be used for towing and in general will have a better fuel economy figure when compared to a petrol equivalent SUV.

DPF Filters

One drawback of owning a diesel car is that they are fitted with a DPF (diesel particulate filter) Filter.

These filters help prevent excess gasses from leaving your car and causing harm to the air quality.

Unfortunately though, these filters only automatically clean themselves or regenerate after you’ve been driving at motorway speeds for around 30 minutes.

This means, if you do short, regular trips your car’s engine and exhaust won’t get up to operating temperature and burn off the gasses in the filter.

Over time this will cause a build up and could result in you needing to replace the DPF filter on your car – which isn’t cheap!

I’d recommend giving your car a run on a motorway or A roads above 50mph for at least 20 minutes once the car gets up to operating temperature.

Should I Buy A Petrol Car?

Another form of fuel to power your car is petrol.

And for most people, including you this might be your best option.

Chances are, you’re going to do less than 15,000 miles a year in which case a petrol makes perfect sense for you – no DPF filter to worry about.

Petrol cars also tend to be slightly cheaper than their diesel equivalents and likely will get a better fuel economy when driving around in city and town areas.

In addition, you’ll find that a petrol car will sound quieter if noise levels of a car is important to you.

If you plan on doing a lot of motorway journeys though, a diesel car is likely to make better sense when compared to petrol as discussed in the section above.

How To Choose Between A Petrol And Diesel Car

Making the decision to either buy a petrol or diesel car shouldn’t be too stressful for you. Whichever one you choose isn’t suddenly going to be axed within the foreseeable future.

You’ll be able to find some great car deals on both petrol and diesel cars if you use a good quality car chooser tool.

If you’re looking for the fuel type based on the car’s gearbox, then I’d recommend choosing a petrol car for a manual gearbox, and a diesel for an automatic – but either will be fine.

What About Hybrid Cars?

Hybrid cars offer the flexibility of having a traditional combustion engine, typically a petrol engine paired alongside an electric motor.

You’ll often find a little 1L engine that has a small petrol tank, and this can be used to either recharge the electric car’s battery pack, or used in combination with the electric motors to offer better performance.

They’re great for the city, and should give you excellent fuel economy over a longer distance as well.

There are some great deals when it comes to purchasing a hybrid car and are equally as good as a petrol or diesel car.