Auto Diesel Cars: A Day to Day Cost Comparison Guide

January 27, 2012

Looking at a new auto, diesel cars are a great option for those who are searching for a more economic way to get around. For years, the diesel engine was called noisy, dirty, and under powered. Today, this has changed drastically. In the world of gas economy, and efficient auto, diesel cars are leading the green revolution. With new engineering in both the engines and the fuel itself, these problems have been taken care of. Now, a whole new breed of diesel cars is hitting the markets to both the joy of car buyers, and their bank accounts. But, when you talk about a diesel car, just how much do they save? Here is a short guide about the day to day costs to run a diesel powered engine.

Fuel Economy Is First

When most people buy a diesel car, the biggest point that they make for their decision is the better fuel economy. On average, a diesel engine will give you 20% to 30% better than a gasoline powered engine. This translates to over $2,000 a year in savings in your fuel bill. 

High Cost of Diesel

One of the fears when oil prices rose a few years ago was that it would raise fuel prices to levels where the high cost of diesel would eliminate any type of fuel economy. These fears were quickly dispelled when the people driving around the diesel engines still saw a significant savings. When a vehicle like the VW Jetta gets 36 MPG, there is bound to be a savings in fuel.


Any conversation about the day to day costs of running any type of vehicle must include the costs of any regular service associated with driving the vehicle. Fortunately, the diesel engine does not require a lot of service. Since the internal combustion is done through the heat of the compressed air. Once the air is compressed to the point of ignition, the diesel is injected as a mist. A tiny explosion is then initiated that pushes the pistons. Because of this process, there is not need for spark plugs or spark plug wires. Regular maintenance is then actually less expensive than a gas engine.


Service and repairs are two different entities. Regular service is done at timely intervals to keep the engine running at its most efficient state. However, there are times when repairs to a broken, or malfunctioning, part will need to be done. Depending on the type of car you are driving, this could be a costly affair. Parts that are not manufactured in the US will have to be shipped from over seas. This can mean higher costs for the owner. Fortunately, with regular service, and the re-engineered diesel engine, these repairs are few and far between. 

Biodiesel Alternatives

To give you an even better boost in your day to day costs in running a diesel engine, there enters the biodiesel fuel. This fuel is not a petroleum based product, but a product that is based on organic oils such as found in vegetable oils, cooking grease, and animal fats. This new fuel is less costly to make, thus does not cost as much per gallon to burn in your car. The good thing about biodiesel is that you do not have to do anything special to your diesel engine in order for it to work.