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Which Fuel is Most Economical

By: Tracy Wilkinson - Updated: 21 Jun 2013 | comments*Discuss
Motoring Fuel Economy Fuel Efficiency

When you buy a new car it’s not just a case of choosing the type of model you want - you also have to consider the type of fuel you want your car to be powered by. We're all concerned with budgets and fuel efficiency and the traditional petrol engine now has several competitors. Of course they all have their good and bad points, so what are the pros and cons to the most popular types of fuel?


What's right with it?
  • It makes the vehicle engine run more smoothly and quietly than diesel
  • It’s the most popular fuel in Britain
  • It's responsive
  • It allows for faster revving
  • Engines that run on petrol tend to be cheaper to repair than diesel engines
  • Company car tax rules mean that petrol engine company cars are less expensive to tax

What's wrong with it?

  • Petrol isn't sustainable - it is a finite resource and so will run out one day
  • It produces more Co2 than most other fuel types
  • Petrol powered engines are not as environmentally friendly as diesel engines

Petrol comes in four main categories, and each type has it's own RON - Research Octane Rating which allows you to find out how well the petrol performs - the higher the RON number, the better your petrol will perform.

Unleaded Petrol

  • The most commonly used type of petrol in the UK, unleaded petrol has a RON of 95

Super Unleaded Petrol

  • This has a RON number of 98 and so gives better performance

Leaded 4 star and Lead Replacement Petrol (LRP)

  • Leaded fuel has now been replaced by LRP which is unleaded petrol with a RON of 97. It has an extra additive which will give the car's valve seat (a surface inside a car's engine) extra protection - which some cars do need.

High performance Petrol

  • High Performance petrol is more powerful and cleaner than super unleaded petrol, and as such, of course it is also more expensive. There are several different types of high performance petrol, some with a RON as high as 102. There are also several types of racing fuels available, with prices that go up to as much as £7 per litre for a RON as high as 110.

All in all, petrol is still considered to be the best choice for those who want a good performance and smooth motoring from their vehicle.


What’s right with it?
  • Better engine efficiency than Petrol
  • Lower Co2 emissions
  • Stays in gear for longer periods of time which reduces the need for gear changes and saves wear and tear on the gearbox. This also assists with acceleration.

What's wrong with it?

  • Diesel engines are often louder than petrol engines
  • The ride quality is reduced
  • Diesel is a little more expensive than petrol
  • Higher air pollutant emissions than petrol
  • It's a finite resource - like Petrol, it's not replenishable
  • If you are driving a company car, the tax is more expensive

If you drive a lot or want to drive a more environmentally friendly vehicle, then a diesel powered vehicle is probably a good choice for you.

Liquid Petroleum Gas or LPG

LPG is often referred to as autogas and is cheaper to buy than petrol, although you will have to convert your car before you can use it.

What's right with it?

  • It has a 50% reduction in noise pollution compared to diesel engines
  • It's comparatively inexpensive
  • There are less emissions from LPG fuelled vehicles than petrol and diesel

What's wrong with it?

  • You need to have your car converted to run on LPG, and your car may not be eligible
  • It can be quite hard to track down - not every garage supplies LPG

If your car can be converted to LPG and you are interested in doing so, then you'll probably save money in the long run by using cheaper LPG fuel, and of course you'll putting less pollution out into the atmosphere. Have a look at the other LPG related articles on Motoring on a budget to find out more.


What's is it?

There are a couple of different types of biofuel: Biodiesel which is produced from farm crops, and Bioethanol which is made from vegetable oils, sugar plants or animal fat.


What's right with it?
  • Less engine wear and tear
  • Low Co2 emissions
  • Can be made from left over and waste oil from cooking
  • Suitable for most diesel powered vehicles

What's wrong with it?

  • Often harder to find than regular diesel
  • May need some engine conversion to be useable


What's right with it?
  • Low Co2 emissions
  • Low fuel consumption and better fuel economy
  • High level RON rating

What's wrong with it?

  • It can be difficult to find

Hybrid Vehicles

Contain a fuel-based engine which works in tandem with a rechargeable electric system.

What’s right with it?
  • Good fuel consumption
  • Very quiet performance
  • Good acceleration
  • Much lower Co2 emissions and other pollutants - much cleaner and 'greener'

What's wrong with it?

  • They are usually more expensive than petrol or diesel cars
  • They are also harder to get hold though there are more models becoming available all the time.

Hybrid cars are great if you drive regularly on both motorway and urban miles because you can swap from one to other, saving fuel and reducing pollution.

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is it wise to do lpg conversion for poursche cayyane is it wise to do lpg conversion for poursche cayyane ? /
mo - 21-Jun-13 @ 9:35 AM
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