Diesel cars are the wrong choice now: We explain

Diesel cars are the wrong choice now: We explain

After diesel price deregulation, the gap between petrol and diesel prices has fallen to historic lows. After the latest price drop on petrol (Rs. 56.61/liter) and price hike on diesel (Rs. 46.43/liter), this gap is just 10 rupees. To break even on a diesel car, you now need to drive a minimum of 1,500 Kms a month, and you have to do this for 5 full years. Against this backdrop, are diesel cars a wrong choice now? We explain.

If you drive less than 1,500 Kms a month, a diesel is simply not for you

Scorpio Diesel

That’s because even if you drive for 1,500 Kms a month, it’ll take you about 5 years before you can start recovering the extra one lakh rupees that you paid while purchasing your diesel car instead of a petrol one. And if you drive lesser each month, the breakeven point for a diesel car will only stretch farther. Think of how much that extra lakh rupees would earn you if invested for the same amount of time. And cars are depreciating assets, which means that you must try to spend as little money as possible on them.

Turbo petrols are here

Maruti Baleno RS 1

Another argument that people who like diesel cars make is about the sheer torque that a diesel engine puts out at low rpms. This makes city driving a breeze. Don’t worry, you can now get the same kind of torque on petrol cars as well. Enter the turbo petrol. Cars with turbocharged petrol engines not only produce bags of torque at lower rpms but also give that “turbo kick” while also delivering good fuel efficiency numbers. Moreover, turbo petrol cars produce lower tail pipe emissions than diesels and even naturally aspirated petrol cars.

Cost of maintaining a diesel is more expensive

Volkswagen Vento Custom 1

A diesel engine is more expensive to build, which is why a diesel car is pricier. Parts of a diesel engine are costlier than that of a petrol engine. This results in higher maintenance costs each time you take a diesel car for regular service. Moreover, as newer diesels feature expensive pollution control devices such as the pulse air valve and the exhaust gas recirculation systems, the cost of maintaining such equipment is also high.

Diesels are getting hit by anti-pollution legislation

Diesel Car Ban


The National Green Tribunal and leading courts of justice in India have come down heavily on diesel powered car. There are moves afoot to introduce diesel tax on even small engined diesel cars while diesel cars with engines that displace more than 2 liters have been banned from the National Capital Region. Amid such circumstances, petrol powered cars are making a big comeback, pushing down resale value of diesel powered cars. Uncertainty is never a good thing, and diesels are facing a lot of it lately.

Diesels continue to pollute more

VW Dieselgate Meme

Comparing the tail pipe emission of a modern petrol car to that of a diesel car, it’s clear that diesels pollute more despite all the emission control devices and technology that goes into them. Diesels are worse for the environment around us, and for air quality, than petrols. With growing environmental consciousness among car buyers, “dumping the diesel” has gathered into a movement. If you want a car that’s greener for the earth, buying a petrol powered one is a better option under current circumstances.