Petrol or diesel - which is better for your fleet?

When you're looking at your own fleet management, the costs associated with keeping vehicles on the road can be of vital importance - especially when you need to add cars or trucks to your existing fleet.

One way that you can keep the price of running a vehicle down is by knowing the fuel consumption for whatever type of job you need it for. If there is more of a need to have a car for city driving, be it for client transport or even just getting employees to various appointments and meetings, then the urban fuel consumption would be more important than either the combined or the highway usage. However, if your fleet will primarily be used for long-distance driving, highway fuel consumption will be more useful.

There is also a difference when it comes to towing capacity for different types of fuel, as diesel cars generally have better low-end torque for pulling a trailer or other machinery, while petrol vehicles are better at the higher end of the torque scale.

What option is the most popular?

Diesel cars have better low-end torque, while petrol vehicles are better at the higher end.

According to Auto Expert Australia, in 2008, there were 92,000 new diesel vehicles on our roads throughout the year. However, that figure increased by almost 80% to 164,000 new diesel cars and SUVs in 2013. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) also notes the difference in the total number of petrol and diesel vehicles on the road. There were 3.6 million running on diesel in 2015, compared to 14 million petrol powered vehicles. Even though diesel vehicles are becoming more popular, petrol is still the market leader.

Motoring Australia sheds some light on why diesel vehicles might be gaining ground when it comes to the number of vehicles on Australian roads. Petrol engines use approximately 30% more fuel for the same amount of usage, and while diesel is on average more expensive per litre, less is required. The National Roads and Motorists' Association lists the average petrol price around the country as 103.3 cents per litre as of April 1, while the average diesel price is slightly higher at 105.6 cents per litre.

So, as far as diesel goes, it is a slightly more expensive fuel to buy at the pump, but it is used much more efficiently by the engines and takes drivers and their loads further. Diesel engines are generally heavier in their construction which allows them to last longer. Strict maintenance must be carried out to ensure continuous smooth running of a diesel engine, however, and that fleet maintenance may just even the price up a little more.

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Which will suit your needs more?

Auto Expert Australia suggests that petrol engines can spin faster because of their lighter construction, which means they have the ability to deliver more power and drive at higher speeds. For construction work or any arena in which you'd need to haul heavy loads around, the diesel option is far superior in terms of the low-end torque that they can deliver. this will pull a load more effectively when taking off, as well as running more consistently even with extra weight on the back.

A number of diesel engines have been fitted with turbochargers to offset some of the performance decreases.

Many people have previously complained about how much louder a diesel option is compared to the petrol engines, however that is only noticeable at a standstill. A large number of diesel engines have also been fitted with turbochargers in recent times, as this will help to offset some of the performance decreases with the less-refined fuel.

Need to tow trailers of equipment around wherever your employees go? Diesel is your best bet. Looking to save time driving around town and getting to the speed limits? Petrol is the way to go.

Smartfleet can help your company with whatever you need in terms of fleet management and car fuel consumption. Our expert team has the knowledge to get you on the road in the most effective fashion.