The UK government's current policy is that by 2040, all new cars sold in the UK should be zero emissions capable - that means either 100% battery powered, plug-in hybrid electric or hydrogen, removing the need for petrol and diesel cars.
We are still a fair way from 2040 but change is coming and there's no reason we shouldn't be looking into what type of car might suit your current lifestyle. Electric / hybrid vehicles whilst great for the environment, are still relatively new which means they might not have the range or charging capabilities we already have with petrol and diesel cars, but we shouldn't rule them out when it comes to purchasing your next vehicle.
Petrol cars are great for those driving less than 12,000 miles per year and are usually cheaper than diesel to fuel. This roughly equates to 50 miles per day based on working a 5 day week and taking into account 25 days annual leave. If you are achieving less miles than this, even with domestic and social mileage, you should consider changing to an electric or diesel car, especially if you are covering lots of motorway miles.
Petrol engines tend to be quieter and are typically more fun to drive, take the MINI Cooper S 3 door hatch as an example or the Jaguar F-TYPE and are often preferred over diesel, especially in recent years due to vehicle excise duty rates. If you buy any new diesel that fails to meet the new Real Driving Emissions 2 (RDE2) standard, it moves up one tax band on its first-year rate.
Petrol cars are a great all-rounder, offering fun whilst still being efficient on fuel. They generally have lower service and maintenance costs and emissions so their road tax is cheaper.
Whilst diesel vehicles can be more expensive on road tax, they are typically more efficient than petrol vehicles therefore if you are a long distance driver, depending on which make and model you can achieve 50+ miles to the gallon (mpg). Take the BMW 3 Series 320d M Sport, this diesel model can achieve 52.3-54.3 miles per gallon compared to its petrol counterpart, the 330i M Sport which achieves slightly less miles to the gallon but still a very respectable 40.4-41.5 mpg.
Due to higher mpg, diesel vehicles are better suited to long distance drivers and commuters. Typically if you are driving more than 12,000 miles per year you will end up better off than if you were driving a petrol vehicle, but this does depend where you are driving, for example you will get better efficiency driving on the motorway than driving round a town or city. It's worth mentioning, many cities are banning or applying charges to those who which to drive diesels in cities.
Diesel cars are also better suited for towing which is why you’ll find more diesel suv’s than petrol suv’s. The towing / camping market is anticipating huge growth over the next few years with people opting for a ‘staycation’ rather than a holiday abroad due to worry around COVID-19 and quarantine rules. Read our guide on “is it now time to invest in a tow car” to find your perfect towing vehicle. One car we don't mention in this guide is the new BMW X5 M50d which provides excellent towing capabilities but also offers the fun and luxury you wouldn't normally achieve with a standard model.
Diesel vehicles have slightly stricter MOT standards, those fitted with a diesel particulate filter, which aims to trap particulate matter from exhaust gases, if found smoking during an MOT, it is an instant fail so they can be more expensive to service and repair. That said, high mileage users may find these potential costs are offset by how much fuel you save.
Electric cars are a big consideration for many, especially this year. COVID has seen many of us work from home reducing our anticipated annual mileage. This means many of us are using our cars just to pop to the supermarkets, or visit our support bubbles forcing our cost per mile up, going electric eliminates some of those increases accumulating.
With electric, you can charge your car form as little as 4 pence per mile and charge points can be installed at your home so you can wake up to a full battery each morning, ready for the day ahead. Better still if you use a certified OLEV installer to install your charging unit, you’ll be able to claim up to £350 towards the installation of your charger from the government (as of August 2020). There are also significant tax advantages and some government grants to help you on your way such as up to £3,000 off the RRP of the car.
The Jaguar I-PACE offers 292 miles on a full battery, and if you find yourself needing to top up on a long journey, a 50kW DC rapid charger, which is found at most public charging stations offers a charge rate of 168 miles of range per hour, so you’ll be on your way again in no time.
A 292 mile range is more than enough for the average daily commute, and with a home charging point, you’ll always have a full battery. Even MINI’s first fully Electric car offers a respectable 145 mile range, meaning if you already love MINI you don’t have to leave your beloved brand. Electric can be sporty too, the new Porsche Taycan achieves 310 miles from a full battery and glides from 0-62mph in under 3.5 seconds.
Realistically, electric offers the same benefits as a petrol or diesel engine.
It's understandable that you may be reserved buying a fully electric car, but you can alleviate some of those reservations by opting for a hybrid or plug-in hybrid model. You get the benefits of electric and charging capabilities but have the backup of petrol or diesel power. The new BMW X5 xDrive45e M Sport can see up to 54 miles on its electric motor before switching to its 3.0-litre six-cylinder petrol engine. Perfect for the trips round town and longer journeys when required.
The choice for electric shouldn't be as difficult as it currently is, it's just like driving a petrol or diesel car, just if you do run out of power, you’ll need to be towed to the nearest charging station instead of having a fuel canister to hand or delivered depending on your location, with over 33,00 charging stations, you won't be far from one. Speak to our sales team more to find out about options regarding petrol, diesel, hybrid and electric vehicles for sale.