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Petrol v Diesel

Petrol v Diesel - Everything You Need To Know

Recent media coverage has suggested that diesels are worse for the environment than petrol and that they are becoming financially poorer value. The following information provides the facts that can assist you when choosing whether a new petrol or diesel vehicle is best for you.

Environmental Considerations – Top 5 Facts

  1. Diesel vehicles emit 20% lower CO2 than petrol equivalents on average.
  2. New vehicles sold since 2014 have to comply with the latest Euro 6 emissions standards, including diesels. Euro emissions standards aim to reduce the level of harmful exhaust emissions.
  3. Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) emissions are down 84% since 2001.
  4. Diesel cars and vans older than 2005 are relatively high NOx emitters which is why they have been targeted with the latest Ford Scrappage Scheme.
  5. Euro 6 diesel vehicles have particulate filters and convert most of the NOx into harmless nitrogen and water before it reaches the end of the tailpipe.
Petrol Station
Short journeys Long journeys
City driving Motorway driving
Rural A&B roads Hilly country sides
Low annual mileage Towing
Cheaper to purchase High annual mileage

Petrol is generally quicker to accelerate from slow speeds so is good for overtaking slow vehicles. However, diesel engines should run at high speeds for 30+ minutes to allow exhaust temperature to rise and ‘burn off’ excess soot, which is not possible on short journeys. The price of a petrol is normally lower than an equivalent diesel, where higher purchase price can lead to higher insurance premium.


Diesel’s greater torque make it more relaxing to drive with fewer gear changes. Its weight adds more stability and offers a higher legal towing limit. They are also more efficient than petrol so give better MPG.

Did you know?

It would take 50 new cars today to produce the same amount of pollutant emissions as one vehicle built in the 1970’s.