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Cheap driving... petrol vs diesel vs vegeoil

I'm pretty sure I've spent many an hour thinking about cheap cars, and the cheapest way of running a car... mainly in the "bangernomics" region, where you buy the cheapest car possible... but now that you can run your own diesel car on vegetable oil and not have to pay tax on the fuel, which would be the cheaper option? Assuming you're running the car as a second car (because old cars aren't as safe as new cars, and you don't want to potentially explode an expensive car), and assuming you'd do an average of 5000 miles a year...

Option 1 would be the cheapest small petrol car possible eg a Renault 5 1.1, which on average would get you 35mpg with a mix of sensible town/city/motorway driving.

Cost of car: free - £150
Tax /year: £115
MOT /year: £50 basic
Servicing: £50 basic
Fuel (5000miles, 35mpg, 642litres): £674 (@ £1.05/l)
Insurance: £240

Total cost year 1: £1129 (assuming free, alternatively £1279), year 2: £1129

Option 2 would be the cheap small diesel car possible eg a Rover 220 Di (2litre deisel), which on average would get you 40mpg with a mix of sensible town/city/motorway driving.

Cost of car: £500 average (ebay)
Tax /year: £180
MOT /year: £50 basic
Servicing: £50 basic
Fuel (5000miles, 40mpg, 562litres): £418 (£306 for 281 litres @ £1.09/l diesel, £112 for 281 litres at 40p/l vege-oil*)
Insurance: £360

Total cost year 1: £1558, year 2: £1058

* It's been recommended that you run on 50/50 diesel / veg oil, as this has been successful for other people.

From the above, if you do a fairly high mileage, over 5000 miles a year, it could be argued that the diesel is the best option as the fuel savings start adding up. However, with so many additional costs, such as Tax/MOT/Servicing/Insurance, besides just fuel and the cost of the car, it is uneconomical to run a second car, when you have already paid all this on one car. It would make more sense simply to use one car, and then all you are paying is the additional fuel.

Option 3 - cheapest possible smallest diesel car, eg Peugeot 106 1.5d

Cost of car: £400-500 average (ebay / autotrader)
Tax /year: £115 (cars under 1549cc)
MOT /year: £50 basic
Servicing: £50 basic
Fuel (5000miles, 45mpg, 500litres): £372 (£272 for 250 litres @ £1.09/l diesel, £100 for 250 litres at 40p/l vege-oil*)
Insurance: £300

Total cost year 1: £1287, year 2: £887

After the cost of the car - if you can keep the car for more than a year - then a small diesel (with a smaller engine) looks like the cheapest car to run. The cheapest for the first year would be whatever car you can get for free. But if you intend to keep the car for two or three years then the smallest possible diesel car would be the cheapest to run.


Anonymous said…
y dont u try chip fat oil or methane

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