Posted by: motorvationsaab | January 25, 2013

SAAB Petrol or Diesel — Which would be best for you ?

Saab Engine

Diesel or Petrol…. Now that is the question !

We very frequently get calls from folk who are considering their next SAAB. As careful buyers they ask our advice regarding points to look out for and consider about their proposed purchase. One of the most frequent questions is about the merits of diesel cars as against the petrol equivalent.

A diesel car is often seen as the obvious choice for someone wanting to reduce their motoring costs. However there are several factors to consider, these factors add up to a cost that we call the “whole ownership” cost. A recent Which Magazine survey concluded that ‘diesels are no longer the default option for frugal motoring’. So how did they come to this conclusion?

  • First. You will typically pay a premium of around £1000-£1500 for a diesel car over its equivalent petrol model.
  • Second. Diesel fuel can cost up to 6 pence per litre more than petrol.
  • Third. Whilst diesel servicing is only marginally more expensive than petrol cars, owing to the complexities of modern diesels and the requirements for them to conform to strict environmental standards, we are aware that in many cases they have more problems when used in certain ways, i.e  low mileage, city and short journey usage. I have previously published a article on this problem. (click the link at the bottom of this article). The main questions to ask are. How many miles do you do per year? What kind of use is the car put to?
  • Fourth. An average diesel will consume approximately £365 less in fuel cost than the petrol equivalent when covering 10,000 miles. This means that you will have to cover approx 30,000 miles or 3 years before you cover the increased cost of the vehicle.
  • Fifth. Diesel cars can be more expensive to insure. Adrian Webb of insurer esure, says: ‘A diesel will typically cost ten to 15 per cent more to insure than an equivalent petrol car. These  factors when put together mean that an average private driver driving 10,000 miles or less will have to cover around 40,000 miles taking around four years before they claw back the extra cost of purchasing and running the car.

So in summary : We would always advise customers when asking about Petrol vs Diesel cars to consider the use to which they put the cars, and thus the likely “whole ownership” costs.
Modern diesels are not suited in the long term to short hops and local driving with a low annual mileage, they need to be driven under motorway type conditions frequently to allow the particle filters to regenerate and keep the engines as soot free as possible.

As always we seek to inform readers rather than scare them. We hope you may find this article and the links useful when making a decision regarding the purchase of another car, regardless of whether it is  SAAB or not.

For further insight into diesel issues please click here.

Please visit us at or call us on 01892 825208

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