New Study Finds Diesels Cost Less Over Time Than Gasoline Counterparts

By Jeremy Del Nero on 27 June 2013
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Mercedes-Benz E350 BlueTec

Mercedes-Benz E350 BlueTec

A recent University of Michigan study finds that, over their life span, diesel cars cost owners thousands less compared to cars running on conventional gasoline.  The study was compiled by the university’s Transportation Research Institute.

Results show that, although diesels may have a higher initial price tag, the total cost of ownership is actually lower.  Savings over a three to five year period range from as little as $67 to as much as $15,000, although on average amounted to somewhere between $2,000 and $6,000.

The study looked at twelve diesel cars and their gasoline counterparts.  Considering many variables, every diesel car cost less over time than its gasoline counterpart.

Overall, diesel engines burn fuel more efficiently, obtaining 8-44% higher miles per gallon.  The increased efficiency translates to a potential 10-30% decrease in fuel costs, even when diesel fuel may be more expensive at the pump.

Estimated repair and maintenance costs, as well as fees and taxes, were lower for diesel cars, in turn driving down insurance costs.

These attributes all lend to the fact that diesels tend to hold their value better than gasoline cars, depreciating at a much slower rate.  Recouping a greater percentage of their original value makes diesels a stronger and more financially stable investment.

Diesels are increasing in popularity, and the amount of cars on the U.S. market is expected to double in the next two years.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)