Fuel powered vs electric cars: Which should I buy?

“Electric vehicles are the future, but what if I’m not ready?”

Here are some reasons why petrol and diesel cars are still good options.

What's the difference between a petrol and electric car?

Petrol cars Petrol cars are equipped with combustion engines, which means they emit CO2 emissions.
Electric Cars Electric cars are 100% electric and therefore produce zero tailpipe emissions.

Is it worth buying a petrol car?

There are many reasons why you might want to choose a petrol rather than electric car.

More choice – Currently, there’s a broader selection of petrol models that cater to a wide range of preferences and budgets.

Longer range – Petrol cars can travel long distances before it’s necessary to refuel, whereas electric cars require more frequent charging. This makes them more suited to unimpeded long-distance journeys.

Quicker refuelling – It takes minutes to fill a petrol tank whereas electric vehicles take much longer to charge.

Infrastructure – Although the electric vehicle charging network is rapidly expanding, it’s not necessarily as widespread as petrol stations – in rural areas, for instance.

Lower upfront cost – Generally speaking, petrol cars are cheaper to buy than their all-electric counterparts.

ULEZ Compliant Petrol Cars

Petrol cars are more efficient than you might think
Just because a car is powered by fossil fuel, doesn't mean it isn’t ULEZ friendly. In fact, any petrol car equipped with a Euro 4 engine is exempt from the daily ULEZ charge. This applies to Clean Air Zone tariffs too, enforced in cities such as Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol and Sheffield.

View ULEZ Compliant Petrol Stock

ULEZ Compliant Diesel Cars

Are diesel cars exempt from ULEZ charges?

Any vehicle with a Euro 6 diesel engine is ULEZ friendly; currently, neither Hyundai nor Suzuki produces purely diesel-powered cars.

View ULEZ Compliant Diesel Stock

What’s the difference between diesel and petrol cars?

Diesel cars Like petrol cars, diesel cars are equipped with a combustion engine, which uses compression ignition that tends to offer greater fuel efficiency and higher torque. This makes them better suited to long-distance journeys, especially those carried out by larger vehicles.
Petrol cars Petrol engines use spark ignition to combust fuel, which means they tend to be more responsive and quieter than their diesel equivalents. They’re suited to lighter vehicles and offer quicker acceleration, and, generally speaking, petrol cars are cheaper to buy and maintain.

​Is it worth buying a diesel car now?

  • If you regularly embark on long journeys, particularly with a larger vehicle, you’ll find that a diesel car is a good option as it offers enhanced fuel efficiency.
  • Since a diesel engine produces greater torque, it’s well suited to towing.
  • Some diesel cars meet specific emissions standards and therefore qualify for lower tax bands.

Diesel or petrol – which is best for city driving?

Petrol cars are generally better suited to city driving because this usually involves shorter journeys comprising much stopping and starting. Moreover, petrol cars tend to be quieter than diesel cars, which means reduced noise pollution in urban areas.

Since petrol cars are often more affordable than their diesel equivalents, they’re also more economical for drivers who cover shorter distances.

Another thing to consider is that there are more ULEZ-friendly petrol cars than diesel cars, however Euro 6 diesel powered car can be exempt from ULEZ charging.

Should I buy a diesel car for short journeys? Because short trips prevent diesel engines from achieving optimal operating temperatures, this can cause issues such as blocked diesel particulate filters, increased wear and reduced efficiency.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are electric cars more expensive to insure?


In general, electric cars are more expensive to insure than petrol/diesel vehicles. This is due to electric cars featuring pricier, less common parts. However, insurance costs will begin to level out once these parts become more commonplace.

Running costs: Which is Best - Petrol vs Diesel?

Diesel is a better option if you’re a high-mileage driver. However, long-distance fuel efficiency is offset by higher road tax and a greater likelihood of Clean Air Zone/ULEZ charges. Certainly, in urban areas, petrol can be more cost effective.

Do electric cars wear out tyres faster?


Yes, because electric cars’ heavier weight and instant torque can result in more rapid tyre deterioration.