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Which car is better to buy? Diesel or Petrol?

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Hi team,

I have been served at India-drive in a great extent in this field of travel and car culture and I feel it's my pleasure to contribute up to a certain extent at which I have done quite a bit of research during the time of my car buy. I hope this would help a lot of members who are in a plan to get their first car when one gets into a confused state of choosing between buying a petrol car or a diesel car  which is quite a common deal in everyone's mind.

Please do correct me if I go wrong anywhere and you are pleased to throw your views on this and so, here I go.





  • Petrol cars are usually cheaper when compared to diesel cars primary reason being their low manufacturing cost.
  • Diesel cars are more fuel efficient and so they command a better price in the resale market.
  • Petrol cars are powerful when compared to the diesel cars.
  • Petrol engines are relatively silent when compared to diesel engines.
  • Diesel engines emit less CO2 emissions thus availing tax benefits in comparison to petrol engines.



  • Service for diesel cars are relatively expensive when compared to the petrol cars. Also, spares for diesel diesel variants also come with a higher price tag.
  • Petrol cars deliver lower fuel efficiency when compared to the diesel cars. Also, the price of petrol sums up to the overall running cost of the car.
  • Diesel cars are considered to be slightly underpowered than the petrol versions.
  • Petrol cars do not command a good resale value in the used car market.
  • Diesel engines often run into compliance issues with environmental norms.
  • Petrol versions haven't been much of a success with bigger vehicles.


Should I buy a Petrol car or a Diesel car?


Buy a Diesel car if,

  • Your monthly mileage is around 1500 kms - 2000 kms i.e. ~50 kms/day.
  • The price difference between the petrol and diesel models is around 50,000 INR.
  • You are looking at operating your car as a Taxi.
  • You are going to keep the car for at least 10 years.

 Buy a Petrol car if,

  • Monthly running is less than 1500 kms i.e. <50 kms/day.
  • The price difference is around 1 Lakh INR.
  • You live in a small city where distances aren't great.
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Brilliantly touched on every minute detail on how to decide up on which car to choose. Interesting read @balag. Great thread.


Adding up to the above are a few basic things on what one should choose to keep simplify between our thoughts in mind: 

Engine & Power
If you need a car that have a powerful engine, a petrol car could be the best choice. 

Both the variants perform well with their powertrains but, If I talk about the mileage, then the diesel cars are a better fuel efficient cars.

A petrol car requires comparatively less servicing than a diesel car. Hence, they can be easily maintained.

Price is the major factor to concern while purchasing a car. A petrol car is more budget friendly than a diesel car.

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Nice post Balag.
Modern diesel engines are becoming more refined.
In a country like India, people who drive more than 2000 kilometers, diesel engines makes sense. 

Few years down the lane, we may add electric cars into the comparison. 

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Very well written @balag. Your post will definitely help a lot of members who are looking forward to buy a car especially during the confused state of what to go for.:) 

It basically depends on what one wants and how much one drives. Usually Diesel cars are costly than the petrol cars at least by 15- 20% and the money spent on buying is compensated on the more mileage we get from the diesel over the petrol, only if we drive the cars as much as possible.

On a major end, running cost factor is one criteria everyone has to consider while buying a car. For instance, in case of low running, petrol cars are good so that you don't have to invest more on a diesel variant and the investment can be used on fuel expenses. More or less, the expenses tall and nullify here.

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Great thread guys, Petrol or Diesel is always a never ending debate. Before I comment something, let me say that I am a proud owner of a petrol car and I would not step back in supporting my choice.


  1. Petrol cars have a wide range of rpm and so you get to play with the power a lot.
  2. Low noise and smooth running engine.
  3. Low pollution.
  4. Service costs are half of a diesel car.
  5. You can save up to 1 Lakh INR during the initial payment.


  1. Less fuel efficient when compared to a diesel variant of the same car.
  2. By doing the math you will find out that you were an idiot when you bought a petrol car thinking about saving 1 L INR
  3. Let me show you why.

Here is the math.

Considering that I need to travel 100 kilometres a day (Work<--->Home)

100x2 = 200 km

Petrol cars fuel efficiency ranges between 12-18 kmpl for a 1.2 litre engine. Lets take an average of 14 kmpl.

200/14 = ~14.3 litres of petrol is being burnt for a journey. Petrol cost is 70 INR per litre.

14.3x70 = 1001 INR

Trying the same math on a diesel car.

For a 1.4 litre diesel car the mileage ranges between 16- 24kmpl

Considering an avg. of 20 kmpl. Diesel cost is 60 INR per litre

200/20= 10 litres

10 x 60 = 600 INR for the whole trip.

Wowwww... Almost half the money required.

But, this is where people gets confused. People consider and compare both the mileages of petrol and diesel but they never consider the cost per litre to the account. So no matter how much money you spend initially will not bother you in a long run because, what’s gonna bother you is while you fill up the tank for long trips or short trips.

All that I wanted to share :)

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Someone driving 200km per day then he must go for Diesel car. There are some other points too like how are you buying. Suppose someone taking loan from bank then for one lakh extra amount at the rate of interest Rs 9 for 3 years he has to pay Rs 3180 per month. My question is are you adding that while choosing Diesel over Petrol. Please calculate Net present value if someone is very serious about money and saving. But if you want luxury and comfort at lesser value then go for Petrol. Last but not least please value for our own environment.

Sent from my Redmi Note 4 using India-Drive mobile app

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19 hours ago, gp1927 said:

Last but not least please value for our own environment.

Sent from my Redmi Note 4 using India-Drive mobile app

Wonderfully said @gp1927 .. I adore you for this statement sir. I am totally against diesel engines in case of the daily running cars in India no matter what. I really feel that, a person who can afford a car should definitely think about how much he is contributing towards saving the environment for a better tomorrow. I would rather say, electric vehicles should soon come into the market at an affordable price for the common man and I am sure that day is no far.

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My view about this debate (too late to the party)


1. Care for environment -> Go for petrol and try pooling as much as possible. You need to understand that diesel engine emits almost 60 times NOx higher than petrol engine.

2. Care for performance -> Go for petrol (powerful engines, less fuel efficient)

3. Care for Mileage/Long runs -> Go for diesel

4. Only city rides -> Go for Mahindra e2o (electric)

With recent NGT on fire, you will see diesel cars getting banned sooner or later (>=2L is already banned in Delhi and next Top Metro cities will be followed sooner).

In next 5yrs, I do see that the ban is going to be applied for all non-transportation vehicles (this should have been done already).


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When debating between Petrol & Diesel, we are sure missing the emerging new fuels, i.e. LPG, CNG & PNG(in some cities). Many brands like Maruti, Hyundai and Tata are offering their vehicles in LPG or CNG variants, which in some cases becomes the primary feature influencing the decision. I myself is a LPG user and must say, the cost of running the car is almost equal to my motorcycle. Yes the car loses some of its power and of course loses the peppiness. But when on a long road trip, the car gets more economical, as well as little more Eco-friendly.

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