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  1. Dear Friends! It is a known fact that diesel has become the fuel of choice for a majority of Indian customers. This is evident from the fact that the overall sales figure of diesel cars which stood at a mere 5% about a decade ago now stands at a mighty 40% of the overall cars sold and is increasing at a faster pace than ever. However, anyone who is out to buy a car is faced with the perennial question on whether to buy a petrol car or go in for a diesel. Which option would provide more value for money in the long run? To arrive at an answer, we would have to look deep into a buyer's behaviour in the Indian context. Some of the things we look at while purchasing a car are: Overall price (price, discounts, freebies etc.) Looks and engine power Fuel efficiency Features (aircon, ICE, safety features etc.) Cost of service and spares Coming down to the topic on whether your usage justifies buying a diesel car, we can simply do some maths to arrive at a probable solution. For the purpose of calculation, we would make the following assumptions*: Standard average life span of the car - 7 yrs (One would typically sell/ upgrade to a new car post this) Standard average monthly running - 1000 kms Price of diesel car - 10 lacs Overall landed cost of a diesel car - 16 lacs (includes cost of capital) Diesel Fuel Price - Rs. 41/ ltr Average Diesel Car Mileage - 16kms/ litre Diesel Car Service Interval - 1yr or 10,000 kms whichever is earlier Diesel Car Service Cost - Rs. 10,000/ service Diesel Car Repair Costs - Rs. 1.5 lacs over 7 years Price of petrol car - 8.5 lacs Overall landed cost of a petrol car - 13.5 lacs (includes cost of capital) Petrol Fuel Price - Rs. 75/ ltr Average Petrol Car Mileage - 12kms/ litre Petrol Car Service Interval - 6 months or 5000 kms whichever is earlier Petrol Car Service Cost - Rs. 5000/ service Petrol Car Repair Cost - Rs. 75,000 over 7 years *The above are nearest estimates used for calculation purpose only. Overall cost of ownership of a Diesel Car Overall Cost = Landed Cost of the Vehicle + Overall Fuel Costs + Overall Service Costs + Overall Repair Costs => Overall Costs = 16,00,000 + {Rs.41/ ltr x (1000kms per month/ 16kms per litre) x 12 months x 7 years) + (9 services x Rs 10,000 cost per service) + 1,50,000 => Overall Costs = 16,00,000 + 2,15,250 + 90,000 + 1,50,000 => Overall Costs = 20,55,250/- Overall cost of ownership of a Petrol Car Overall Cost = Landed Cost of the Vehicle + Overall Fuel Costs + Overall Service Costs + Overall Repair Costs => Overall Costs = 13,50,000 + {Rs.75/ ltr x (1000kms per month/ 12kms per litre) x 12 months x 7 years) + (14 services x Rs 5,000 cost per service) + 75,000 => Overall Costs = 13,50,000 + 5,25,000 + 70,000 + 75,000 => Overall Costs = 20,20,000/- The above high level calculation proves that as far as price is concerned, if your monthly running is below 1000 kms, it is not worth spending on a diesel engine car. Anything above 1000 kms/ month would provide you with fuel costs savings but would subsequently inflate your service costs as well. Now comes the question of engine power and refinement; where petrol provides a more linear and refined performance, modern diesels typically being turbocharged, provide a lot of torque once revved beyond a certain rpm range. Conclusion: Go for a diesel only if you would be putting on a lot of miles on your odometer; otherwise, a petrol makes better sense anyday. Cheers