Should I Still Buy a Petrol or Diesel Car?

The days of popping down to your local car dealer to pick out a new petrol or diesel run-around may soon be over. Or will they?

When the government first announced a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in 2017, drivers didn’t take much notice. But with 2030 looming nearer and rapid advancements in electric car tech, some motorists may now be wondering if it’s worth buying a new petrol or diesel car before the proposed ban comes into force.

If you’re one of these inquisitive drivers, we’re here to help. Our guide sets out the pros, cons, and key things you should consider before deciding if a petrol or diesel is the right choice for your next car purchase.

Should I Buy a Petrol, Diesel, or Electric Car? Key Things to Consider

Between the 2030 sale deadline and calls for people to cut their personal carbon emissions, you may be feeling the pressure to buy an electric car over a petrol or diesel. But there’s a lot more to it than that, so you need to weigh up the options carefully before reaching a decision.

Let’s take a look at the factors you need to think about before heading to the forecourt.

Initial Purchase Price

Petrol and diesel cars remain considerably cheaper to purchase outright than their electric counterparts. In fact, the cost of electric vehicles continues to be the primary reason for their slow uptake (although this is improving of late).

For example, a brand-new petrol Fiat 500 would cost approximately £12,000 based on today’s sales figures. By comparison, the electric version of the same car would set you back around £20,000.

Certainly, there are some good lease and hire options out there that make running an electric car more affordable. But if you plan to own your car outright in the future, petrol and diesel still represent the most feasible and affordable options for most buyers.

Lack of EV Charging Infrastructure

While EV charge points have become commonplace in car parks, there’s still a general lack of charging infrastructure across the UK. That includes many rural areas, as well as where our houses are concerned.

Sure, new laws have been passed requiring all new-build homes to feature EV chargers. But given that the majority of UK residents still live in terraced houses with no available private parking, the availability of charge points can’t be guaranteed for everyone.

If you live in a terraced house, a flat or any other dwelling that doesn’t have a drive, charging an electric car could prove impossible. For this reason, petrol and diesel cars remain the only practical option for millions of drivers around the country.

Cost of Repairs and Servicing

Drivers will have gotten used to the yearly cost of maintaining a petrol or diesel car. But an electric? That’s a different story.

Comparing the servicing cost of EVs vs petrol and diesel cars can be tricky. For starters, EVs are considerably less susceptible to defects because they contain far fewer moving parts that can wear out, which should be taken into account when comparing real-world costs.

With that said, however, research shows that EV servicing and repairs is more expensive than for petrol and diesel vehicles – and by as much as 10% in some circumstances. That’s because maintaining electric cars requires greater expertise, and because replacement parts are significantly more expensive.

Don’t forget either, that if you have a problem with your electric car, you may struggle to find help in your local area. Not all garages are equipped to repair EVs, so you might be limited to where you can take your car for repairs and maintenance.

Range Limitations

Although electric car ranges have improved in recent times, you’ll still achieve fewer miles on a single charge than you would with a full tank of petrol and diesel.

And it isn’t like you can pull up and charge the battery in a minute or so, either. Even with a powerful rapid charger, you’re still looking at a minimum of 30 minutes to get your car back to a driveable range, which might not always be convenient depending on how you use your car.

So, if you cover a lot of miles for work or enjoy taking long trips on a weekend, a petrol or diesel could still be the way to go.

Environmental Factors

The government has shown its hand and gone all in on electric cars, positioning them as the next step in the evolution of privately owned vehicles. But while there are certainly lots of benefits to running an EV compared to a petrol or diesel, they may not be the most future-proof solution many had hoped for.

Why? Well, for starters, EVs are only as green as their power sources. They still mostly rely on the burning of fossil fuels to charge, which could prove a major sticking point in the future.

And then there are the materials required to build them. Electric car batteries require rare and precious metals like lithium, manganese and cobalt, the mining of which requires huge amounts of energy and resources.

Experts already fear that the reliance on mining for these materials could have major long-term implications, particularly for the environment. And since there’s only a finite amount of precious metals in the ground, shortages may be likely in the long term.

What’s more, the end-of-life disposal of EV batteries is not environmentally friendly, with no current means of recycling or disposing of EV power banks at scale.

The Pros and Cons of Buying a Petrol, Diesel, or Electric Car

You may be on the fence about your vehicle purchase, so to help, we’ve put together a concise list of pros and cons to help you find your next car.



  • Lowest initial purchase price
  • Cheaper to fuel than diesel
  • Great for short trips around town
  • Affordable maintenance
  • Modern petrol cars are considerably more efficient than older versions
  • Strong fuel availability


  • The cost of petrol is increasing
  • May depreciate in value rapidly as the move towards electric continues
  • High emissions around town so you may need to pay future Clean Air Zone charges in some UK cities
  • High tax for thirsty petrol cars



  • Cheaper than electric cars, even from new
  • Efficient on longer journeys
  • Affordable maintenance (though not as cheap as petrol)
  • Modern diesel cars are considerably more efficient than older versions
  • Strong fuel availability


  • The cost of diesel is increasing
  • May depreciate in value rapidly as the move towards electric continues
  • High emissions around town so you may need to pay future Clean Air Zone charges in some UK cities
  • High tax
  • Modern diesel DPF systems require regular maintenance and upkeep, although Redex DPF Cleaner can help with this



  • Extremely convenient if you have an at-home charger
  • Exempt from Clean Air Zone chargers meaning cheaper day-to-day running costs
  • Lower tax than petrol and diesel
  • Strong resale value and lower depreciation rate


  • Expensive to buy outright
  • Maintenance and servicing could be more expensive than you’re used to
  • Charging availability and range could be a problem
  • Not the perfect solution for tackling the issue of private car ownership’s impact on climate change

This resource is for guidance only and doesn’t advocate for one type of car over another. Consider the options carefully and don’t feel pressured into going electric if it doesn’t suit your budget or requirements.

At Redex, we’re continuing to adapt to the demands of modern driving, developing products that help our customers enjoy a better drive. To learn more, take a look at our full range or visit the blog for more help and advice.