Diesel or Petrol Car?

POSTED BY Raj ON January 25, 2011 6:21 pm COMMENTS (4)


I’m planning to buy a Car in near future. I was looking forward to own a Volkswagen Vento Diesel version (Rs.923,500) which is priced Rs.100,000 more than Petrol its variant (Rs.823,500).

If I were to use this Car for another 10 years, monthly savings on fuel charges would be around Rs. 1400/- per month assuming difference between petrol and diesel prices are going to stay same during this course of time (current diesel price per liter in my city is Rs.41.39 and petrol price is Rs.61.75).

Difference in price between diesel and petrol variant is Rs.100000 if invested at 12% interest rate for 5 years give return of Rs.3,10,585 and savings from fuel charges Rs.1,400 invested monthly at 12% for 5 years gives Rs.3,25,275.

I understand that Diesel price may hike in near future thus reducing the savings from fuel charges and also aware of diesel variants delivering sluggish performance and its high spare parts costs.

What do you think is the best option in terms of total cost of ownership and savings?


4 replies on this article “Diesel or Petrol Car?”

  1. ASHAL JAUHARI says:

    Dear Raj, I have a different take on this subject, If possible to you, Opt for the high-end TATA Indigo Manza – Diesel version which ‘ll cost you around 7.5L Rs. with one of the most advanced features & as the price is almost same to Vento Petrol model, you ‘ll be able to save more than what you have calculated for.



  2. Sohil says:

    If you travel more than 12k kilometer per month than think about diesel.

    Also what is flawed in your view is you saying you will keep the car for 10 year.Which i dont think ever happens or was last seen when people used to own maruti.Plus volswagan for 10 years.It all depends on the service and how they care.I would say keep your view right now at very max upto 7 .And yes diesel will be expensive in future but difference btw petrol and diesel will be more as govt wont tamper much with diesel prices as it directly touches ppl pocket as trucks runs on same.

    So do calculate what you want.If possible wait for a year and better jump for cng or lpg option as they will be more economical but yes engine refinement and pick up will be hampered.

  3. Ahmad Zaib says:

    I fully agree with Ganesh Babu above.

    Diesels are only beneficial if you are a regular traveller. Once I read an article in Autocar about it.
    More you travel in a Diesel the more you can justify the price difference between its Petrol sibling 🙂

  4. Ganesh Babu says:

    Raj – You have made most of the calculations yourself! I am assuming that the savings in fuel charges (1400 pm), have been calculated after assessing your per day or per month travel average. The more kms you travel, the savings would increase. So basically, the kms (and hence the fuel saving) makes the difference. You also need to consider the mileage expected to be provided by the car (you can safely assume 80% of the figure stated by the manufacturer for calculations).

    Also, you need to check if the features provided in the cars being compared are equal. Most manufacturers cut down on some features in the diesel version to make it competitive in pricing.

    You may also need to consider the second hand cost at the end of 10 years. This is difficult to assess, but typically the diesels have better resale value.

    Once the car gets older, you need to factor in higher maintenance costs for the diesel. Being heavy, suspension, tyres, bushes and bearing tend to wear out faster. A 15 to 20% higher maintenance cost can be considered for the diesel over 10 years. (Volkswagen being high on maintenance costs, this can be a burn a hole in your pockets)

    Fuel prices are out of our control, so you may not have to worry about it too much. But for some more time, it appears as if diesel prices will have a cushion over petrol.

    My suggestion for you will be to go for the petrol. You dont seem to have long driving requirements. Why waste the comfort of petrol, just because of lesser cost of fuel.

    But in my opinion, the choice is completely personal. You have to be comfortable with the car. After all, you spend the money and you have to be happy. Enjoy you new car!

    I did a study when i took my car – have a look if you are interested -> http://www.mygraffitipage.in/2010/04/new-car-ritz-zxi.html

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