When it comes to buying a brand new vehicle fuel economy, is one of the top priorities usually on our list. We all love to get the most out of our fuel and our hard-earned money especially with the increase in gasoline prices. That satisfying feeling of topping your vehicle to a full tank and paying less at the pump is always a fantasy of every car owner, what with the constantly fluctuating fuel prices and the fact that per liter cost hasn’t seen the mid-20 Philippine Peso range in a few decades. While some people will always stick to gasoline vehicles, more and more Filipinos are switching over to diesel, so much so that diesel has been a selling point for many people, totally foregoing the traditional gas variants of their desired vehicles.
So can you save money with a diesel vehicle? We’ll talk about that in this article. There’s a lot to consider when it comes to savings – does it mean cash at the pump? Or maybe servicing and maintenance costs? Could it be overall costs of ownership over years? One thing’s for sure though; we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to diesel choices in this country.
The Diesel option
The Philippine automotive market is home to a smattering of diesel options from all over the world, with the likes of Europeans, Japanese, and American brands giving us a good lineup of cars to choose from. However, if you want to get a diesel vehicle you are limited to the vehicle types available. Diesel-powered cars usually take the form of SUVs, pickup trucks, a few splatterings of mid-sized crossovers, and the Hyundai Accent as it is one of the last few sedans available with a diesel engine.
A great example to use when comparing the cost of diesel vs gasoline is the Honda CR-V. It is available with either a 2.0-liter gasoline engine or a 1.6-liter turbo diesel motor. The gas variant of the crossover costs around P1,678,000 while its diesel counterpart costs P1,713,000 at its most affordable price. This represents a difference of P35,000. Yes, one is CVT and the other is a nine-speed AT with two more seats, but the other amenities and creature comforts are identical. Taking things further, some car models are only available in diesel, or the gasoline variants are limited to lower trim levels.
When it comes to fuel cost, there are some saving considerations, as well. Diesel is consistently cheaper at the pump than gasoline and you won’t be needing to fill up that often since fuel economy is relatively better in diesel cars. Where a diesel vehicle starts to shine is in highway miles; fewer stops plus constant speed equate to maximum fuel efficiency. Less filling up means less money spent on fuel, and less money spent on fuel is thanks to low fuel consumption numbers from diesel engines. Overall, diesel is a winner in terms of everyday costs.
In some ways, diesel engines require less maintenance because they do not use spark plugs or distributors, so the need for ignition-related fixes or tune-ups is nonexistent. You do, however, need to keep the engine well-maintained through regular and frequent oil changes, together with air and fuel filters. Diesel cars can also be equipped with a tank with a solution that reduces emissions, so keeping it topped off is a must. Failure to keep your engine maintained can result in a very expensive repair job down the road, especially when it comes to the fuel injection system. Keep your diesel vehicle in top condition and you won’t have any problems in the long run.
If you plan on keeping your vehicle for many years, then diesel might be your best bet. Sure, you might be paying a little bit more to keep your car’s maintenance schedule on the dot, but the overall savings on a daily and yearly basis will outweigh preventive servicing. Also, you can expect a good market for second-hand diesel cars in the Philippines, especially if they’re sought after brands or models, letting you recoup some money. So can you save money with diesel ownership? Yes, you can, especially if you drive for many kilometers per day.