March 21, 2022
Many South African motorists will have to decide whether to buy a diesel or petrol car. Read on further and learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of petrol and diesel-powered cars.1,2
Diesel engines consume less fuel than petrol cars, thus releasing less global-warming carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The downside is that diesel engines produce more toxic nitrogen, which in turn causes smog and acid rain. In addition, catalysts only work when they are hot and are thus not effective when they stay cold on short trips. Diesel also produces soot, which consists of extremely carcinogenic small particles that can cause breathing problems and lung cancer.
Diesel engines are more mechanically complicated, making the car that much more expensive to buy than petrol cars. The upside is that vehicles with correctly maintained diesel engines can obtain a higher resale value than petrol cars. What will confound this picture in the future is the increasing use of electric and hybrid vehicles.
Although diesel engines need to be serviced more frequently than petrol ones and at a higher cost, their engines seem to last forever.
Carbon tax in South Africa for new petrol cars is more than diesel ones because the former emit more significant amounts of carbon dioxide.
Although petrol engines are not so noisy and more sophisticated, diesel engines generate powerful torque at low speeds. This provides substantial power for towing a heavy trailer or overtaking. The diesel engine is like a ‘tractor’ or workhorse and is ideal for long trips.
Besides the advantage of the extra torque, diesel engines use less fuel. In addition, turbocharged engines also impact fuel efficiency.
There is currently a manufacturing trend to use smaller engines or downsize capacity to comply with the demands of lower carbon emissions, lower fuel consumption and yet greater power. By using a turbocharger that forces air into the engine, smaller engines can use less fuel and produce fewer carbon emissions. However, they will still have a similar power output than the larger engines.
Smaller engines need less fuel, but more fuel is required while the turbocharger is working hard when they require extra power. Therefore, when a smaller engine requires more power more frequently, it will use more fuel compared to a larger non-turbocharged engine undergoing the same effort.
Car insurance is complex, and for this reason, this article can only supply information. If you wish to buy a car insurance product, it is best to first consult a certified financial advisor for professional advice.
Whether you choose to buy a diesel or petrol car, South African law requires you to take out comprehensive car insurance if a bank will finance your new car. PMD can help here with its affordable, comprehensive car insurance with fixed premiums* and reduce to zero excess* as well as other convenient benefits. So perhaps contact PMD to find out more? T’s and C’s apply.
May 12, 2022