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Electric vs Petrol vs Diesel vs Hybrid

If you’re thinking of purchasing a car, some common questions you’ll find yourself wondering are “should I go for a new or used car?”, “what am I looking for in a car” and “do I have a preference of a make and model?”


However, it could be worthwhile taking a step back to consider whether you should opt for a different option to the common petrol-powered car.

Let’s break it down to help you out.

Electric Vehicle (EV) benefits

There are many benefits to owning an EV, the most common being that they are more environmentally friendly than most other vehicles. But what makes this the case?

EVs don’t need direct use of fossil fuels to run, but instead harness the use of electricity instead. You can opt to charge the car at home, or a public charging station. These stations are now starting to pop up in many more areas around the country as Australia’s charging infrastructure is slowly expanding.

However, it’s good to keep in mind that if you choose to charge your vehicle at home, this cost will count towards your home energy bill.

Another factor to consider in an EV is the smaller maintenance cost. Over time, Internal Combustion engines cost more to maintain as oil, coolants and other fluids as well as belts and transmissions need to be replaced.

Although the bill may be lower, EVs are not without maintenance costs. Like all other consumables, rechargeable batteries degrade over time, which means they will eventually need replacing.

EVs are not only cheaper to run, they can come with lighter registration fees and stamp duty exemption, incentivising the economic and environmental benefits and helping to bring the overall cost down to a more comparable figure to that of petrol vehicles.

Petrol Vehicle benefits

However, just because EVs have some amazing benefits, doesn’t mean you should discount petrol vehicles altogether. The greatest advantage petrol vehicles have over others are that they are currently the least expensive cars to purchase as they are the most conventional form.

There’s a wide range of petrol vehicles available to ensure you find a model that suits your needs and budget.

Something else to consider is that there are far more petrol stations accessible than public charging stations. Even though we are seeing an increase of charging stations across Australia, these are nowhere near as convenient as petrol stations.

Depending on the popularity of EVs, this may change as the production of electric cars increase in the following years and the demand grows.

Diesel Vehicle benefits

Now, what about diesel vehicles? Diesel fuel has a higher energy content than petrol, meaning a full tank of diesel will get you further than a full tank of petrol. This provides greater range between filling up since its fuel economy offers about a third more to that of petrol1.

Not only can this save you some cash (although it’s worth factoring in the cost that diesel is slightly more expensive than petrol), it helps saves time with less frequent fuel stops.

The topic of diesel’s impact on the environment is debatable. It creates more CO2 emissions than petrol per litre, however as less diesel is used to fuel the car, it contributes less to emissions. Diesel is also burning cleaner in recent years with the emergence of ultra-low sulphur diesel2.

When it comes to towing, diesel vehicles can well outshine the rest. They are generally more fuel-efficient and have a higher legal towing limit than petrol vehicles3.

Hybrid Vehicle benefits

Firstly, what is a hybrid car? Hybrid cars combine the use of both small internal combustion engines and EVs. When it comes to lower speeds, the electric engine kicks in. However, at higher speeds, the internal combustion engine takes over.

Regarding emissions, hybrid cars outshine petrol or diesel-only cars in traffic with their ability to run solely on electric power. They also have less of a dependence on fossil fuels, helping it to lean more towards being an environmentally friendly option.

Hybrid cars are more suited to city driving, as they swap to more a suited engine when required. However, this does mean they are less powerful as the internal combustion engine being the primary source is less powerful compared to a petrol or diesel only vehicle.

What do you need in a car?

When you’re deciding which car to purchase, it ultimately comes down to your needs. Hybrid vehicles are advantageous in urban areas with stop and go traffic. Diesels outperform all other classes in towing capability and long distance range. Petrol vehicles are cheaper to purchase initially and is the most common powered vehicles. Electric vehicles can come with a price tag but have the lowest emissions and running costs.

Whether you’ve already decided on the type of car you want to buy, or we’ve sparked the thought to consider something else – it pays to do your research to see which car would best suit your needs and budget.

Chat to your local Mortgage Choice expert today to ensure you find a car loan that suits your needs, so you can focus on which car you purchase.

1 https://www.carsguide.com.au/car-advice/whats-the-difference-between-diesel-and-petrol-cars-47267

2 https://www.aip.com.au/index.php/resources/launch-low-sulfur-diesel-fuel

3 https://www.whatcar.com/news/petrol-diesel-or-hybrid-which-should-i-choose-for-towing/n16427

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