Petrol vs Diesel

You may have had either a petrol or a diesel car your whole life. But do you actually know the difference when considering how your vehicle runs? On a basic level, the difference between diesel and petrol is that diesel requires less refining and less crude oil than petrol to produce. Based on this, it may be surprising that diesel is in fact more expensive than petrol. Both petrol and diesel have a variety of advantages over one another. Your choice of fuel will be dependent on what factors are most important to you.

Car Tax

Diesel vehicles are famous for being much more efficient than their petrol equivalent. The fact that they generally expel fewer harmful emissions means they end up paying significantly less tax. Under current rules, many diesel vehicles are exempt from car tax due to their fuel efficiency and lower emissions. Similar vehicles that use petrol will have to pay a standard average bill of car tax, which is certain to be significantly more than diesel. However, this may balance out due to the fact that diesel costs more per litre.

Servicing Costs

When comparing petrol and diesel, routine maintenance and repairs are also an area where the two differ. Generally speaking, diesel vehicles are considered more expensive to run and service. However, the statistics show that diesel cars need to be serviced less in comparison to a petrol car. This means that the costs are often levelled when considering how much it would cost to keep a diesel or a petrol vehicle over a 3-4 year period

Resale Value

When it comes to reselling a vehicle, depreciation values are likely to be the biggest expenses that you will be faced with. Currently, diesel cars depreciate less in value due to the fuel efficiency and economy of the vehicles. They offer the opportunity for little to no tax, which is often a high priority for car buyers in the current economic climate. Petrol cars on the other hand depreciate drastically in value, thus making the demand low.


It is common knowledge that petrol engines offer better performance for your vehicles. Diesel will give you more miles to a gallon, but driving a petrol car efficiently will give you better performance than if you were to drive to a diesel. However, diesel is closing the gap in terms of performance, whereas petrol is closing the gap in terms of fuel efficiency. This makes considering which to opt for down to your own driving habits and tastes.


Diesel has gained somewhat of a bad name for being notoriously noisy. The clattering engine is a factor that has made petrol a continued popular favourite. However, as technology progresses this is become somewhat less of an issue, but does remain a concern for those before they buy.


Fuel emissions and the environment is a hot topic amongst motorists and governments. Both petrol and diesel produce emissions that have detrimental effects on our environment. However, diesel cars do achieve a better fuel efficiency and therefore produce fewer emissions over any given distance in comparison to petrol.


For many vehicle owners, the cost of petrol is the true decider when it comes to purchasing a vehicle. In the UK, diesel is typically more expensive than petrol. Arguably, you will have to fill up less with a diesel car, but the scales are still tipped to favour petrol in terms of price.

With any luck, knowing the difference between petrol and diesel will help to avoid confusion on the forecourt. However, if you do find that you’ve used the wrong fuel in your car, you should always give Wrong Fuel Expert a call.