Diesel vs petrol

Looking at purchasing a new car in France, obviously diesel is cheaper and better fuel consumption. Are there any hidden costs to buying a diesel for the unwary? E.g insurance?

I will happily stand corrected on this but I believe that they are more expensive to repair and service due to injector failure and expensive particle filters that require replacing. @Mark_Rimmer is our resident car expert though so I’ll leave it to him for some clarity!

If anything will be cheaper than a petrol car with a similar performance as insurance tends to be based on BHP while diesels rely on torque. Here is quite a lot of anti diesel feeling about at the moment and you will need to have a pretty good crystal ball to see the knock on effect that has on future fuel tax levels and resale values. The diesel cars that I owned in the past were no more expensive to repair than my petrol models.

Thanks James, I’m particularly interested in any specific French anomalies, my understanding is that tax is included in the insurance, so is there any hidden trap for diesels?

thanks David.

There is no annual road tax in France, you pay an initial registration fee instead. Any tax on an insurance premium is just a tax and is not related to the object insured.

some food for thought…

There will be an eco-tax to pay when registering the vehicle… this is proportionate to the amount of CO2 emissions…

I think the restrictions that are already in place (and more on the way) need to be taken into consideration before buying any vehicle…
Some diesel vehicles are banned altogether…in Paris (I think)… and more cities will be joining in as time goes on. Not wishing to alarm… just better to make a well-informed decision… these sites give some current info as well as older stories.

Thank you, plenty of food for thought, appreciate it’s impossible to see the future, but an informed guess is better than none!


Gordon Pettigrew

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Personally I would not buy new! Stella is right about the eco tax. It is called Malus & is levied on all vehicles on first registration in France, so all new cars at the showroom & all imports whether new or used. It depends on the age & Co2 output & on big cars can add up to 10,000 euros on the registration fee! Normal sized cars usually fall below the threshold with no extra to pay, though.
With regard to the petrol/diesel debate, I have had more problems with modern electronic diesel injectors than with the old pressure operated ones with costs for repair often exceeding 1000 euros as the replacement injectors can cost over 300 euros each. A replacement petrol injector for a Peugeot 206 recently cost 35 euros.
A properly maintained diesel can give many miles of reliable service though (my own car is just coming up to the 500,000 km mark) with reasonable economy but with the recent swing from diesels being “good” to now being “bad” petrol may well be the way to go.
Mind you, I operated my car on refined used cooking oil for some time using simple equipment & the local restaurants’ waste oil. The result is a carbon neutral non polluting exhaust for about 15 centimes a litre. I stopped making it because I just did not have the time to produce it. It is an easy process but filtering the old chips took time & I never sorted a proper system but if someone wants to do it I have the gear for sale with all the instructions to make 40 litres at a time.

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Personally I’m waiting for the hybrid technology that powers this to become affordable.
(but given the choice I’d take the 30 year petrol engined car just ahead of it)

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We have just got our certificate in case we need to go into central Lyon. So far this has usually been for hospital visits which have come as a bit of a surprise, so better be forearmed.
We have a Mercedes C220 estate which I bought over ten years ago and which is economical on long journeys and also extremely comfortable and can carry large loads.
I have been looking at replacing it because of this diesel controversy. I can replace it for just about the same amount I paid for all those years ago ie. ÂŁ 14 ,000.00, but this would be another diesel, albeit more emission friendly.

Our previous car was a diesel…a real workhorse and it did us proud. However, when it finally needed replacing we went to petrol because the car OH liked was not diesel… as simple as that.

However, it does mean we should never (:wink:) find ourselves unable to enter a City on those particular days when all diesel vehicles are banned…phew.:smiley:

Thanks all, plenty of food for thought, we havent moved yet, but trying to do my homework in the UK beforehand. The Auto Express articles were interesting, we had the same debate 3 years ago when we bought our current car, but with the mileage we currently do the argument is easier in the UK as diesel is slightly more expensive. Not sure our mileage in France will be significant, but we’d like to see more of the country from time to time.

diesel if your doing massive long journeys, but if you have a diesel and trade in for a newer petrol you get money off the government as diesel is well bad fr the environment more so that petrol