Special Report on Diesel Motoring: How switching can fuel big savings for you: Diesels continue to be a good way to cut costs, says Martin Derrick

IN GENERAL, a switch to diesel should result in significant fuel cost savings. Reductions in fuel consumption of between 20 and 30 per cent are commonplace, and often the economies are still greater. Citroen claims that, compared to an equivalently powered petrol-engined car, its new ZX turbo diesel would save a useful pounds 350 a year in fuel costs alone for a car covering 20,000 miles a year.

Similar claims can be made for other manufacturers' models: the Rover Montego is 45 per cent more economical than its petrol- engined equivalent; the Audi 100 turbo diesel is over 50 per cent more economical than the petrol model; and the Peugeot 605 turbo diesel is up to 60 per cent more fuel-efficient than its petrol-engined stablemate.

Though in the past diesels might have been rejected by many as slow, smelly and noisy, the latest diesel models coming on to the market can virtually match both the performance and the refinement of equivalent petrol-engined cars, and yet on top of the undoubted fuel economy, they also gain in terms of higher second- hand values, greater durability and greater reliability.

This does not mean, however, that the diesel is the answer to all of modern society's transport problems. For a start, the differential between diesel and unleaded prices in Britain is far smaller than in many Continental markets. In the UK the differential is currently less than lp per litre, while in France it is over 16p and in Germany nearly 12p.

Second, the UK has traditionally been a very small market for diesel cars. In 1980 under 6,000 diesel cars were sold here, but in 1990 it has risen to 123,000 and last year it was up again to just under 140,000. It is entirely possible that UK diesel sales in 1992 will top the 200,000 mark, so great has been the demand in the first half of the year. Because only a relatively few diesel cars were coming on to the second-hand market, second-

hand values have remained traditionally high; high enough to make up for the fact that in the past diesel-engined cars tended to cost more to buy in the first place.

But now significantly higher numbers of used diesels are on the market, the likelihood is that residual values will start falling as a simple factor of supply and demand and it may be that in time the residual advantage enjoyed by diesels will be wiped out by their very popularity. Leslie Allen, director of Glass's Guide, the motor trade's 'bible' of used vehicle values, says: 'Those who say that diesel residual values are going to drop considerably I think are too pessimistic. There is growth in the number of used diesels coming on to the market and there has been some movement down in prices, but they are not major moves. Over the next two years I expect the diesel market to continue to expand, though much depends on the differential between diesel and petrol prices.'

For the moment, diesels continue to look a good buy. Taking into account factors such as list price, residual values, fuel costs and fuel consumption and maintenance costs Hertz Leasing recently produced whole-life cost figures for different cars over three years or 36,000 miles. Taking three examples, what they found was that a Peugeot 405 1.9GLD cost pounds 2,186 less to run than the petrol-engined 405 1.6GL; a Peugeot 605 SRdt cost pounds l,397 less than the 605 SRi; and the Rover 218 SLD cost pounds 906 less than the 216 SLi.

(Photographs omitted)

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

    £22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

    Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey/ South West London

    £22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

    Ashdown Group: Recruitment Consultant / Account Manager - Surrey / SW London

    £40000 per annum + realistic targets: Ashdown Group: A thriving recruitment co...

    Ashdown Group: Helpdesk / Trainee Application Support Analyst - Hampshire

    £25000 per annum + pension, 25 days holiday: Ashdown Group: A highly reputable...

    Day In a Page

    No postcode? No vote

    Floating voters

    How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

    By Reason of Insanity

    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
    Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

    Power dressing is back

    But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
    Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

    Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

    Caves were re-opened to the public
    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

    Vince Cable interview

    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
    Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

    Promises, promises

    But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
    The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

    The death of a Gaza fisherman

    He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
    Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
    Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

    The only direction Zayn could go

    We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
    Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

    Spells like teen spirit

    A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
    Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
    Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

    Licence to offend in the land of the free

    Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
    From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

    From farm to fork in Cornwall

    One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
    Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

    Robert Parker interview

    The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor