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Diesel or Petrol Doesn't Need to be an Impossible Choice

 Published 25th April 2017
Driver Guides 

If you've been paying attention to the news recently you're probably aware that diesel is getting something of a bad press. While consecutive governments have encouraged drivers to reduce CO2 emissions by filling up at the black pumps there is now a growing backlash.

There's no doubt diesel is better in terms of reducing global warming but the Nitrogen Oxides they emit can have a detrimental effect on public health.

The cleanest option in environmental terms is an EV of some kind. An EV offers emissions free motoring, reduced BIK rates, and cheaper VED. On the downside, unless you live in an area awash with charging points then range anxiety will be an unfortunate fact of life. In most places the necessary infrastructure just doesn't exist. At least just yet.

So what are drivers supposed to do?

That's not a straightforward question to answer because there are a multitude of factors to consider.

The Benefits of Greater Fuel Economy

Leasing a diesel vehicle has been the preferred choice because the fuel economy is much better, especially for longer journeys and motorway driving. For drivers who consistently travel over 12,000 miles a year then the greater efficiency of a diesel engine is crucial. It can often mean 700 miles between fill ups too.

For company car drivers in a lease car, there are benefits in terms of lower company car tax, as well, even though diesel cars are subject to a 3% surcharge on the tax rate.

Nevertheless, diesel is becoming less welcome in urban areas. The London Mayor has announced an Ultra Low Emissions Zones (ULEZ) and is your diesel vehicle isn't Euro6 compliant you will be paying an extra £10 per visit on top of any existing congestion charge. All new diesel cars are Euro6 compliant, but how far will the anti-diesel sentiment go?

We simply do not know at this stage – except that the London Mayor is considering extending the ULEZ to include the area between London's north and south circular roads.

It should also be noted that diesel vehicles are less efficient in town and it's not unheard of for the diesel particulate filters to become clogged over time when driven at consistently lower speeds, which then require expensive cleaning.

So What About Leasing a Petrol Car?

It doesn't take a genius to work out that if all that is true for diesel then the opposite applies to petrol vehicles. As the P11D value of petrol cars is usually a little less than a diesel model, and the BIK rates are on average 3% lower on smaller cars you can pay slightly less in company tax, and after the first year VED will be the same as diesel in most cases.

A petrol vehicle is also more efficient in the stop-start driving conditions common in most cities.

Again there has to be a downside and in the case of petrol vehicles the fuel consumption isn't as good on longer journeys or at motorway speeds. Petrol cars don't hold their value in the same way as diesel either so monthly lease costs can be slightly higher.

So What Should I Do?

The decision to opt for petrol or diesel will depend almost entirely on individual requirements. It's about doing your homework and choosing the vehicle best suited to your purpose. That may sound like a lot of hard work but there is another benefit of leasing that you shouldn't overlook. Gateway2Lease understand the issues and are here to help you make the right choice, so you can discuss your requirements and we will do the homework for you.

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