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Rewards for diesel drivers take years

PETROL cars have overtaken diesel vehicles in the money- saving stakes.

Car buyers have traditionally favoured diesel versions as they are perceived to be cheaper than petrol vehicles.

However, new research has indicated that petrol cars could work out to be better value for money in the short term.

Consumers with low annual mileage could save thousands by sticking with petrol as it will take over three years – sometimes up to seven – for diesel car owners to reap the rewards.

Car buyers' sites Cartell.ie and CompleteCar.ie carried out comparisons. They found that a car such as a Skoda Octavia 1.6 TDI 105, which costs €2,200 more than the petrol equivalent, will take several years before the driver sees savings.

They calculated that on 18,000km mileage per year, along with the cost of tax, the petrol model costs €456.08 more to run per annum.

But this means that it will take 4.8 years for the diesel model to make up the price difference of €2,200.

The researchers also looked at the petrol and diesel versions of the Ford Fiesta Zetec and found that it can take almost seven years to save the money.

However, it found that in some of the vehicles analysed the difference was just six months – for example, the Toyota Avensis Strata. New diesel car sales accounted for about 57pc of the cars sold in 2009.


By 2012 a considerable 74.2pc of all new cars sold in Ireland were powered by diesel.

Director of Cartell.ie Jeff Aherne said that turbocharging and high-pressure direct injection are now becoming the norm in petrol engines - resulting in reduced emissions and better fuel economy.

"It's too early to say whether petrol will launch a comeback in popularity, but the fundamentals are strong for petrol vehicles – emissions are much lower than they were, consequently taxation is lower, fuel economy has improved considerably."