Petrol gauge - empty

When buying a new or used car, there are four main fuel types to choose from. Not all car drivers are aware of what they are or how they differ. Here’s some useful info about petrol, diesel, hybrid, electrical vehicles and the best fuel for your needs.


Shell petrol pump

Petrol driven cars

One of most popular fuel types is petrol. This is because there are more petrol fuel pumps around. Petrol offers value for money driving enjoyment due to high revving, responsive engines which also make a fantastic sound. Petrol is also the cheapest fuel to buy.

There are downsides like:-

  • Petrol has benzene in it, a carcinogen (a substance that causes cancer in living tissue).
  • Petrol vehicles depreciate at a very fast rate.
  • Prices of petrol per litre are volatile.
  • It’s a dangerous substance to handle and store.
  • Oil is a limited resource.


Diesel pump

Diesel vehicles

Let’s take diesel next. This fuel costs less than petrol because of low depreciation. Other pros for diesel include:-

  • Engines can do more mileage using diesel than petrol, so last longer.
  • Road tax is cheaper, plus diesel engines produce less carbon dioxide.
  • Acceleration of large diesel motors is much better than say, sports cars with higher torque.
  • More efficiency and better miles per gallon.

Againsts are that diesel produces hydrocarbons, particulates and nitrous oxides, so it’s not very good for the environment. Insurance is usually higher for diesel cars by approximately 15%. Diesel vehicles usually cost more to replace or repair. Although diesel engines don’t need routine servicing, statistics show they are, in general, less reliable than petrol-driven engines.


Hybrid car - BMW i8 rear

Hybrid vehicles

Hybrid vehicles are certainly more fuel efficient and cleaner. The resale values are high while having low congestion charges and tax bills. What’s more, there are no range limits with a conventional hybrid engine.

Downsides of hybrid motors are in the main:-

  • Batteries are quite expensive to replace.
  • Vehicles are dearer to buy than petrol motors.
  • Specialist skills are needed for any maintenance.
  • This type of car emits more emissions than electric vehicles.
  • Engines are usually small so drivers will find they aren’t that good for pulling large loads.


Electric car charging

Electric cars

Let’s take a look at the many positives of electric cars, one of which is they give out zero emissions. There’s no noise pollution and electric vehicles also provide a quiet journey. With no congestion charge and zero road tax, these cars are very tempting to buy. They have a high residual value, good acceleration and definitely cause less damage to the environment.

Less favourable points are:-

  • They are costly to buy.
  • There’s a limited range of motors.
  • Not many recharging points around.
  • They take a long time to recharge
  • Electric cars are dangerous for pedestrians, due to their silent engines.

With electricity being generated by fossil fuel power stations, electric motors are not for everyone.

Which type of vehicle to choose?

With so many pros and cons for each type of vehicle mentioned, it’s probably a good idea to do some research before buying. If you want to find out more about our petrol, diesel, hybrid or electric vehicles, get in touch with us or come down to our showroom, we’re always happy to help.

Jan has worked in the car finance industry for the past 20 years and I currently run Zoomo Car Credit. I specialise in car finance, helping customers who who have bad credit get accepted!