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ANALYSIS: Diesel vs Petrol
You bought a Maruti Suzuki Swift VDi diesel four years ago and have run 1,000 km a month. Smart move or bonkers?
By : BSM Desk | Published : February 27, 2012 | Photos : BSM
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ANALYSIS: Diesel vs Petrol
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The union budget is around the curve and there's talk of a cess on diesel cars by a certain section in the power corridors of New Delhi. The cess could either be a percentage of the value of the car or a flat charge, something to the tune of Rs 80,000 if we have to go by what the press is brandishing about.

If indeed this is true, then it could pretty much turn the whole argument in favour of diesel on its head. Besides, the industry is trying to stay afloat at a time when global economic policies and conditions are threatening to put India in the same spot as the developed world. Already, demand for petrol cars has reached an all-time low, thanks to the lopsided fuel pricing policies that have lead to a near 66 per cent price difference on a per litre basis, in favour of the diesel. This has led to the marketshare of diesel cars to rise substantially over the last few years.

As a case study, we decided to find out if you did indeed purchase a Maruti Suzuki Swift VDi or a Maruti Suzuki Swift VXi four years ago, would you have made the right decision. The idea here is simple – take a Maruti Suzuki Swift VDi with a purchase date of March 1, 2008. Most of our Which Car? questions have been about people with an average running of 1,000 kilometres a month and therefore used it as a pre-condition for our analysis. If you are wondering, 1,000 km/month is the kind of threshold that makes most people wonder if it makes sense to spend extra on a diesel or go in for a petrol. That should translate to about 40 km a day, assuming that the car is not driven for about 5-6 days a month on account of weekends or 33 km a day if the car is driven every day.


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  Posted by tejalinga at 14th March,2012
That was very insightful analysis.Thank u.10/10 for this work
  Posted by Raghu at 12th March,2012
It would have been much better if you have analysed on range of km travelling rather than putting 1000 Km per month. I would say it would have given more clarity for the buyer if this was mentioned. When I bought car I have taken my KM range as 500 KM to 800 KM.
  Posted by Raj at 6th March,2012
Please bring in CNG also for comparison based on current prices. Is it preferable to do the running in purely on petrol tuning before getting it adjusted for CNG?
  Posted by KKGupta at 3rd March,2012
Pl. put some light on the resale value of both the cars.
  Posted by IRFAN BANDUKWALA at 2nd March,2012
The interest cost between the cost of the Diesel and Petrol should be considered and then calculated. It would be very interesting to see which is the car to buy
  Posted by Manish at 1st March,2012
No doubt Team has done good research. Petrol cars are much fun to drive but considering the rise of crude prices in some days due to bad circumstances in gulf, diesel can be a good option to buy keeping in mind about resale value of diesel vehicle is higher then petrol version, its mileage is good and if the price of diesel increases to Rs 50/ltr in coming days then also it will no put burden on pockets of car owners. Totally agreed about the study that if the running is not extensive then it is a waist of money on buying a diesel vehicle, but it would be better if the research team should have compared alternate fuel also such as CNG in case study. CNG as of today is the only good clean fuel which is cheapest and running cost comes nearly to Rs 2/km in maruti swift may very in different car model and traffic condition. CNG also has some disadvantages like its installation cost very from company to company for eg local vendor install it in rs 25000/- but company install in Rs 60000/- (
  Posted by amx at 1st March,2012
Not a good article I assume. Could have been better with fewer pages (than a storyline and lots of text), and should have been replaced with mathematical diagram / tabular format for a simple read. Who's really gonna flip 5 pages just to see what's the conclusion?
  Posted by HARI at 29th February,2012
I do not think you have taken into account, the interest cost between the two as most of the buyers go for a loan of 5 years. I think with the interest cost on loan for higher amount in respect of disel and diesel being more pollutant, i feel petrol should be the choice for normal family driven car. Of course it could be different if someone uses as taxi.
  Posted by Pooja at 29th February,2012
Buddy, Can u please calcuate the story based on the current market prices of swift diesel and also considering the mileage of 22.9 for diesel and 18.9 for petrol and the price difference of 1.3 lac in current prices the entire estimations is wrong. Please suggest which is good for me, i drive 30km daily roughly. excluding weekends.
  Posted by Rvee at 28th February,2012
nice comparison & analysis
  Posted by brajesh kumar at 28th February,2012
BENEFIT ON DIESEL AT PRESENT FUEL COSTS Assuming petrol car needs Rs 500 worth of petrol per 100 km (around 7 litres at ~ 15kmpl) and diesel car needs Rs 200 worth of diesel per 100 km ( around 5 litres at ~20 kmpl), diesel car benefit is Rs 300 per 100 km of running. Price difference between diesel and petrol car of Rs 100000 will be recovered on running 33000 km. For a car life of 10 yrs, it is around 3300 km per year. Interest earned on 100000 price difference will be Rs 8000 per year at 8% interest rate : recovered at 2700 km per year. So if we ignore extra maintenance cost, diesel car's extra cost will be recovered at 6000 km per year run. Plus Diesel car will have higher resale value.
  Posted by Doc at 28th February,2012
Nice work! I think if one considers the fact that a petrol car is smoother and quieter to drive, then the balance tilts in favour of petrol. Besides, it is really unfair to subsidise diesel in any case.
  Posted by Prasad at 28th February,2012
very well put Blog
  Posted by sandy at 28th February,2012
Dear BSM team hats up for this article, probably one of the best. You also met with all the requirement including the product(Swift and Multijet). Your statement on putting those extra amount of money what the diesel unit demands over petrol unit, as a fixed deposit in bank shows how much research you have done even from the other side of spectrum. And is a real eye opener for those who only think that mileage is everything. There is no doubt about todays diesel unit has become more powerful yet frugal w.r.t petrol unit, but this has also made these diesel unit a status symbol for most of the buyers.
  Posted by Siddharth at 28th February,2012
the calculation is very good but in 2008 the prices were petrol 50 and diesel 35 which is today 75 and 45 respectively. For those who are willing to buy cars in 2012 the price difference is huge and in next four years the expected prices will be 100 and 60. Please tell us what to do considering next 4 to 5 years.
  Posted by Abrahams at 28th February,2012
A Petrol car would always be a Petrol car. No matter petrol touches INR 100 a litre but Diesel would never be a match. Cheers!
  Posted by Samyak Modi at 28th February,2012
one thing that we did miss out is that the diesel cars are more expensive to maintain as compared to the petrol vehicles. not to forget the kind of failures that occur because of bad diesel quality. so basically anyone who drives their vehicle less than 50 kms a day on a average (all 365 days a year) would save some extra buck buying a petrol. because not only would they be paying higher EMI's while buying a diesel - they would also miss out on the extra they could have earned with the difference amount in a fixed deposit. all in all average run above 50km per day one should go for a diesel only anything below that - makes more sense to buy a petrol - and not to forget the joy of driving a petrol vehicle - u can't put a price on that!!
  Posted by Tejalinga at 28th February,2012
Appreciate the work.Thank you
  Posted by GAURAV CHOPRA at 28th February,2012
  Posted by jaspal at 28th February,2012
u really have lost it,,this you call comparison,,really pathetic,,you have lot of time going into details and hence you deviated from the subject in itself. petrol cars are still better if youu run less than 50 kms a day,, i have done a proper calculation ,, and dont forget the fun of driving a petrol car,, refinement and smoothness ,,less pollution etc etc ,,plenty which you ignored totally.. please identify that you are not a rocket scientist and the people reading all this confusion are not abdul kalaam. hope you will take critisicm in right way,, I AM FAN OF YOUR SITE
  Posted by Dr Srikanth Y N at 27th February,2012
congrats on that very insightful analysis. I am o the verge of buying a new car and was in a bit hesitant to go for another petrol car. But i have an argument that goes against your 1000kms per month driving. I have seen that most diesel car owners drive a lot more just because of the sheer cost effectiveness. I have a friend whose diesel punto has done 45000 kms in 2 1/2 yrs.If you have diesel car you tend drive and go on all your long distance trips. I dont drive my petrol car anywhere long distance because it is expensive! The monthly running of diesel cars will always be more than petrol cars
  Posted by ganesh at 27th February,2012
what happens if we drive for 300km per month , which is best petrol or diesel?
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