Five diesel cars that are cheaper to buy than their petrol equivalents


You’ll usually find that diesel versions of cars cost more to buy than their petrol equivalents, but that diesel engines give much better fuel economy than petrol ones, so will cost less to run in the long term.

It’s been part of car buying best practice for years: working out whether a diesel car’s fuel economy offsets its higher cost compared to a less efficient – but cheaper – petrol engine. Usually, you have to drive roughly 25,000 miles a year to make a diesel car more cost efficient than a petrol one in the long term – but that’s all about to change.

Manufacturers and dealers are starting to give bigger discounts for diesel models, meaning that, for some cars, it’s actually cheaper to buy a diesel than a petrol. Factor in a diesel model’s improved fuel economy and you’re well on the road to cheaper motoring.

Read on to see five cars where it’s now cheaper to buy a diesel than a petrol if you buy through carwow. Just click the green button under each to configure your preferred car and see what you could save by using carwow.

BMW 1 Series

The BMW 1 Series is a fun-to-drive small family car along the lines of the Volkswagen Golf and Audi A3, and it’s available with a range of petrol and diesel engines.

On paper, a diesel 1 Series is more expensive than a petrol version, but buy one through carwow and you could save on average 10% more off the diesel car than a petrol one.

This brings a diesel 120d M Sport model from £28,690 down to around £22,700. An equivalent petrol, a 120i M Sport, comes down from £27,070 to about £23,290 – now the petrol is almost £600 more expensive than the diesel.

BMW 1 Series
Petrol Diesel Price saving
Before carwow discount £27,070 £28,690
After carwow discount £23,290 £22,700 £590
Mpg 48 66

Mercedes A-Class

Just like the BMW 1 Series, the Mercedes A-Class is a small car with a very posh badge on the front.

It’s available with a decent range of engines, but it’s well worth considering the A200d with its 2.1-litre diesel engine capable of a claimed 71mpg – especially when you take into account the fact average savings are on average 3% higher on diesel models than petrol ones.

Our example compares an A200d in Sport trim against an A200 petrol model in the same trim. The diesel is £605 more expensive than the petrol before discounts, but £120 cheaper afterwards.

Mercedes A-Class
Petrol Diesel Price saving
Before carwow discount £26,255 £26,860
After carwow discount £22,580 £22,460 £120
Mpg 50 66

BMW 5 Series

If you’re after a big family car with loads of room in the back as well as seriously impressive levels of technology and quality up front, then you should make sure the BMW 5 Series is on your shopping list.

At the time of writing, average savings on diesel 5 Series models are 7% higher than on petrol versions.

Our example below shows the differences between a BMW 520d SE diesel model and a 520i SE petrol. Despite being nearly £1,000 more expensive to buy before discount, the far more efficient diesel is nearly £1,200 cheaper after discount.

BMW 5 Series
Petrol Diesel Price saving
Before carwow discount £35,835 £36,815
After carwow discount £31,660 £30,510 £1,150
Mpg 50 66

Mercedes GLA

If you fancy a svelte SUV that does everything the A-Class does, but with a slightly better view over the road ahead then it’s worth looking at the Mercedes GLA.

At the time of writing, you could get a diesel GLA for around £1,300 less than the petrol – leaving you with a comfy motorway cruiser that can get a claimed 64mpg as opposed to the petrol’s 47mpg.

Mercedes GLA
Petrol Diesel Price saving
Before carwow discount £28,815 £28,760
After carwow discount £24,990 £23,650 £1,340
Mpg 49 64

BMW 2 Series Convertible

Fancy a small convertible with seats for four people? The BMW 2 Series should be on your shopping list – it’s fun to drive and has a great range of engines. As you’d expect, the diesel 218d model is a bit more expensive to buy than the equivalent petrol, the 218i.

However, thanks to carwow discounts the diesel actually ends up a fair chunk cheaper than the petrol – considering the diesel is claimed to get 60mpg to the petrol’s 47mpg, that’s hard to argue with.

BMW 2 Series Convertible
Petrol Diesel Price saving
Before carwow discount £29,990 £30,590
After carwow discount £26,868 £26,142 £726
Mpg 49 63

 

Save money on your new car

Whether you’re after a diesel or a petrol you can save an average of £3,600 on your new car by using carwow. Simply click login at the top right of this page and configure a car to see how much you can save. You can then browse for new, nearly new and used cars available for immediate delivery all over the UK.

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