Should You Buy A Petrol, Diesel Or Electric Car?

Are you thinking of buying a car soon? If so, you will doubtless be aware that cars are generally powered by petrol (i.e. “gas”), diesel or electricity. Each one of those fuel methods has their pros and cons, but how do you know which type of fuel is suitable for your requirements and lifestyle?

There are many stereotypes that people have about each one of those fuel types that are slowly becoming a thing of the past. For example, people used to say that electric cars are slow yet we will see a bunch of electric cars being raced in the world’s first FIA Formula E race later this year!

Photo via flickr

But still, this doesn’t really answer the question of whether your next car should be a petrol, diesel or an electric one. Luckily this blog post will aim to help you seek out the answer to that question by talking you through the different pros and cons to each option.


Known as gasoline in North America, petrol engines are perhaps one of the most-common types of engine that you will see in cars today. Petrol is a transparent fuel that has been used for many decades in all types of vehicles and is readily available from any filling station around the world.

It’s a particularly toxic fuel, because the additives used within petrol such as benzene are carcinogenic (i.e. they can cause cancer). According to statistics, the United States accounts for around 44% of the world’s total petrol usage!

Cars with petrol engines tend to be the cheapest ones that you can buy, which is probably unsurprising really given the petrol usage statistics I just mentioned.


Just as important as petrol is diesel fuel. Invented by a German named Rudolf Diesel in the late 19th century, diesel is typically a by-product of petrol (a fractional distillate), although one can also buy biodiesel which is more eco-friendly as it uses vegetable oil.

A lot of motorists prefer buying diesel cars to petrol ones because they offer significantly better fuel economy, but the downside is that they are worse for the environment; most diesel cars produced today have a particulate filter installed to inhibit the emission of soot and other particulates into the atmosphere that contribute to the world’s greenhouse gas problems.

Diesel cars (and in many countries, diesel fuel) are typically more expensive than their petrol equivalents and are only really suited to those that make long journeys on a regular basis.


According to car dealership Sandles, electric cars are perhaps the greenest vehicles that you could drive – simply because they don’t have engines! Instead, they have batteries and electric motors that power the car’s drive wheels, and when the batteries are running low they can simply be recharged at home or from a specific car charging point.

Many governments around the world are offering motorists incentives to buy electric cars, but take-up of such vehicles has not been the runaway success that many had hoped for due to the extremely high costs of buying electric cars, as well as the lack of a well-provisioned public charging network.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *