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Diesel Price Reaches All-Time High, Does it Make Sense to Buy a Diesel Car over a Petrol Version?

The fuel prices in India have reached an all-time high with the recent price increase on 14th May, 2018. As per the official data from Indian Oil Corporation Limited, the petrol prices in Delhi are Rs 74.80/ litre and the diesel prices are Rs 66.14/ litre. This means that the price difference has been reduced to Rs 8.66 per litre. Now compare it to fuel prices on 14th May, 2017. The difference in the fuel prices a year ago was Rs 10.54 per litre.

While the diesel car cost more than a petrol car, the diesel fuel in itself cost less than the petrol. This is why a lot of people are confused over their buying preference and have this constant query – ‘Should I buy a Petrol Car or a Diesel Car?’ We did an analysis to find out whether it makes sense to buy a diesel car over a petrol car?

2017 Maruti Suzuki Dzire

2017 Maruti Suzuki Dzire. (Image: Siddarth Safaya/

While deciding between a diesel or a petrol car, following factors play a crucial role-

1. High-maintenance of diesel cars

2. High efficiency of diesel cars

3. Low cost of diesel fuel

4. High cost of diesel cars

Out of the mentioned four points, the high-maintenance cost of diesel-fuel cars is no more true. Just so you know, the quality of diesel fuel in India has been sub-standard when compared to petrol. This led to clogging of diesel filter quite often, leading to higher cost of maintenance of diesel cars. This is no more the case as the diesel fuel has been refined exponentially to match international standards, eliminating the quality factor.

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Next up is the efficiency of the diesel run cars, which is definitely the truth. Take any diesel car and compare it with its petrol alternative and you will find a difference of at least 4-7 kmpl. For our analysis purpose, we will consider the new Maruti Suzuki Dzire as the base car. Here’s a look at the mileage of Dzire petrol and diesel-

2017 Maruti Suzuki Dzire Petrol Mileage – 22.0 kmpl (MT & AGS)

2017 Maruti Suzuki Dzire Diesel Mileage – 28.4 kmpl (MT & AGS)

That’s a whopping 6.4 km difference per litre of fuel burned.

Talking about the difference in the pricing of fuel itself, diesel in India is priced relatively less than petrol. The difference between the prices of the diesel and petrol has now been reduced to Rs 8.66, with the former being the cheaper of the two. The price of fuel alone tempts buyers to go for a diesel car. Here’s the current fuel prices and we will take prices of New Delhi for reference-

Petrol price in New Delhi – Rs 74.80/ litre (as of 14th May, 2018)

Diesel price in New Delhi – Rs 66.14/ litre (as of 14th May, 2018)

Fuel Calculations

Last is the difference between the ex-showroom prices of the petrol and diesel car, which is roughly a lakh rupees before taxes in most of the cases. For our study purpose, we have considered the 2017 Maruti Suzuki Dzire prices-

2017 Maruti Suzuki Dzire ZXI – Rs 7.07 Lakh (Ex-Showroom Price, New Delhi)

2017 Maruti Suzuki Dzire ZDI – Rs 8.07 Lakh (Ex-Showroom Price, New Delhi)

Most of the people use their cars for home-office-home commuting. If you live in Delhi-NCR, your daily average run would be around 50 km for a 20 working day month-

50*20*12 = 12000 km annually.

Add to it 3000 km for weekend run, your annual running would come out to be 15000 km.

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Let’s calculate the running cost now-

Formula = Annual Running/ Average * Fuel Cost

Diesel Car- 15000/ 28.4 * 66.14 = Rs 34933

Petrol Car- 15000/ 22.0 * 74.80 = Rs 51000

Petrol – Diesel Difference = Rs 16067


Annual Running = 15000 km

Petrol Mileage = 22 kmpl

Diesel Mileage = 28.4 kmpl

Petrol Variant – Dzire ZXI

Diesel Variant – Dzire ZDI

Indian Oil, Indian Oil home delivery

IOCL Truck for Home Delivery of Diesel. (Image: IOCL)

Considering that you pay a lakh bucks extra for procuring diesel car, it would take you at least 6 years just to recover the basic ex-showroom price difference. And that too when we neglect the interest on the loan amount, if any.

Our suggestion, if you are planning to buy a car and have an annual running less than 15000 km, opt for a petrol variant. The extra lakh bucks you save can be used to buy a high-end safety equipment rich variant. Furthermore, invest the amount you saved in an RD or FD. The interest earned at the end of 5 year tenure will be a delightful one.

We wish you a Happy Buying!