How to choose between Diesel or a petrol car


Most times when you’re faced with the decision to buy a car, it’s usually dependent on a couple factors, price being the most common factor. But how about engine type? Have you ever been faced with the choice of a diesel engine vs a petrol engine and was just stumped? Here’s the break down of what you’re getting with either option. 

A very common question among car buyers is “should I buy a car with a diesel engine or a petrol engine?”. But there are also many people who don’t even know the difference.

Petrol cars

Generally speaking, petrol cars are known to be much quieter than diesel engines. However, the main reason the majority of small cars have petrol engines is because the car is just not that expensive to begin with. This means that adding a diesel engine will hike up the price of the car dramatically.

Diesel cars

Today, diesel cars are much quieter than they were in the past. They are also generally more fuel-efficient than petrol cars, particularly for long journeys. The most contentious factor with diesel cars is that they are more expensive. Diesel per litre in Nigeria is about 170N/litre while petrol is 140M/litre.

Important factors to also consider when choosing to buy a new or used car before you even consider the engine type should include the following;

  1. Fuel efficiency: Many people agree that one of the main motivations for buying diesel powered car is for its fuel efficiency. Studies show that on average, diesel cars consumer 25%-30% less fuel than comparable petrol cars.  Yes you will make less trips to the gas station but diesel is more expensive in this country than petrol. Furthermore,  it is important to consider the fact that diesel powered cars are a great option if you drive long distances regularly. However, if the majority of your driving includes short distance trips, you are probably better off using a petrol car.
  2. Maintenance: Diesel cars typically require less maintenance than petrol cars because they don’t have as many moving parts such as spark plugs or distributors. Diesel cars tend to have a longer life span than petrol cars. Do remember to change oil filters when needed. Failure to do this may cause expensive repairs.
  3. Engine power and performance: A little known fact is that diesel engines are more powerful because of the low-end torque they produce. This makes diesel cars the ideal towing vehicle and rugged enough for hauling heavy load. Alternatively, increased torque also means less horsepower, so if you’re in the need for speed, a diesel car may not be you first option.
  4. Noise and ride quality: Thanks to technology and really smart engineers, diesel cars are no longer noisy beasts of machines. But petrol cars are still quieter, stealthier and sometimes refined than most diesel cars. So it boils down to figuring out if you’re prepared for a little bit of noise.

Pollution and emissions

Ever been stuck behind a bus or truck? Then you’ll be all too familiar with the unpleasant smell and the clouds of smoke coming from its exhaust.

Fortunately, modern diesel vehicles run much more cleanly than they did before. And because of stricter requirements and the advent of catalytic converters, emissions have dropped considerably.


In conclusion

As you can see, both cars come with their pros and cons, so it really boils down to personal preference and what you intend to use your vehicle for. If you’re the road tripping explorer and plan on taking long road trips around the country, then a diesel engine is your best bet. If you are in need for speed, then a petrol car is what you’re looking for.

Are you team diesel or team petrol? Share your thoughts with us!



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