Cost-conscious drivers buy a diesel. But does this unwritten law of the automotive world actually still exist today? The fact is that diesel fuel is still cheaper than regular gasoline and diesel engines still use less fuel than gasoline engines. However, diesels are more expensive than gasoline engines both to purchase and from a tax perspective. Nevertheless, diesel-powered cars are among the best sellers on the German car market. In Germany, more than 50 percent of motorists drive a diesel car. In the USA, on the other hand, it is only around three percent.
Gasoline engines are becoming more and more economical
But the technology of gasoline engines has continued to develop. Therefore, modern gasoline engines are becoming more and more economical in consumption while diesel vehicles are slowly reaching their limits. Under these circumstances, does the old rule of thumb “If you want to save gasoline, drive a diesel” still exist? A question that you should definitely clarify before buying your next car. What differences still exist today between a compression-ignition engine and a gasoline engine. It is high time for a comparison.
Criteria for a comparison
When comparing diesel and gasoline, the following factors play a role:
- What does the respective fuel cost?
- What are the consumption values?
- How high are the acquisition costs?
- What does the vehicle insurance or vehicle tax cost?
- Cost of the fuel Due to generous tax benefits, diesel fuel has been cheaper than petrol up to now. However, the tax advantages only apply to Europe if diesel engines were to lead a shadowy existence globally. As long as there is this tax advantage, the price difference will certainly not change. In terms of fuel costs, a diesel vehicle still has an advantage over a gasoline car.
- Consumption values of diesel engine vs. gasoline engine In the last few years the consumption advantages for diesel units were still around 30 percent. But in the meantime the lead over gasoline engines has decreased significantly. The technology of gasoline engines is getting better and better, which is of course also noticeable in the consumption figures. On the other hand, further development of diesel engines seems to be possible only to a limited extent. Experts assume that the difference in consumption between gasoline and diesel will be well below 20 percent by 2020. In addition, the currently prevailing political pressure on diesel engines is increasing considerably. Soot particle filters and other environmental protection measures inevitably lead to an increased consumption of diesel fuel. Nevertheless, the fuel consumption advantage is currently still with diesel vehicles.
- Acquisition costs Diesel engines are much more expensive to manufacture than gasoline engines. Therefore, diesel cars are almost always more expensive to buy than gasoline-powered cars. With the introduction of the Euro emissions standard 6, the acquisition costs will even increase, as manufacturers will have to invest in expensive additional systems to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions. Thus, gasoline-powered vehicles have a clear advantage in terms of acquisition costs.
- Vehicle insurance and vehicle tax According to statistics, diesel vehicles drive more kilometers per year than petrol vehicles. The probability of an accident is higher for cars with diesel engines, which of course increases the cost of car insurance. The cost of vehicle tax is also higher for diesel compared to gasoline-powered vehicles. A diesel car therefore only pays off if it covers at least 15,000 kilometers per year. As a result, diesel engines are rarely used in small city vehicles these days. The situation is different in the segment of medium and luxury cars with high mileage.
Conclusion: The diesels are still ahead of the game.
Even if gasoline cars clearly score points compared to diesel in terms of acquisition costs, vehicle insurance and vehicle tax, the diesel engine will continue to do its job. That will not change as long as the tax break still exists. But the days of the diesel vehicle seem to be numbered. The technology of gasoline vehicles is constantly being improved and, among other things, electric cars and hybrid vehicles are entering the market, to which experts believe the future of cars belongs.