Should I buy a petrol car in 2019?

Should I buy a petrol car in 2019?

Although diesel has dominated the headlines recently, the recent revelations in tax, pollution and electric vehicles have got a lot of people wondering:

Should you buy a petrol car in 2019?

Only you can really make that choice – but we’ve got a few points for you to consider.

If you’ve got the same or other concerns about diesel, then check out our blog: Should I buy a diesel car in 2019?

Why petrol?

There are a few reasons for choosing petrol…. Here’s just a short list of the pros:

·       Better for short journeys compared to diesel as there will be no risk of clogging the DPF

·       Acceleration tends to be quicker than their diesel equivalents

·       Cheaper per litre than diesel

·       Less NoX than diesel

·       Resale value is higher than that of diesels

·       Tend to be less noisy than diesel

·       No need to charge up unlike electrics

But understandably, with alternative fuel cars becoming more and more popular, there’s a few things to address before you take the plunge and buy a petrol car in 2019.

The big one: Pollution

Since catalytic converters were first introduced in cars in 1975, the emissions from the petrol engine dropped significantly.

Generally speaking, diesel engines with the same power output as petrol engines will emit less CO2 and burn less fuel, which is why they were once widely preferred over petrol vehicles. But since the discovery of the emission of bits of soot (particulates) and higher quantities of NOx that diesel cars produce (although admittedly much less after particulate filters were introduced), petrol, hybrids and electric cars have become more favourable.

Tax rates – new and old

Due to the ever-changing landscape of pollution and the more sophisticated methods of detecting it, petrol and diesel cars have both suffered at the hands of road tax.

But more recently, hybrids have also taken some of the brunt… more on that below.

2001 - 2017

Petrol cars may be considered to have been “hard-done by” between 1st March 2001 and 31st March 2017. The road tax you pay on cars registered within this period is calculated solely on CO2 emissions. This means that diesel cars registered during this time which produced less CO2 compared to their petrol counterparts were usually a lot cheaper to tax!

Table source –

But, equally, let’s not forget to mention that some petrol cars still fit into the A, B, and C categories such as the older Citroen C1, the Fiat 500 and the Toyota Aygo to name a few. So, you can still achieve very affordable tax rates with some older petrol cars today!

But if you’re looking at getting a slightly newer petrol vehicle (registered from 1st April 2017) then you’ll have different rates of tax.

For the rates, check out our tax increases blog.

In the new tax bands, petrol cars won’t be subject to the RDE2 standard like diesel cars will be for the first year rate.

But, regardless of this standard, from the second year onwards, petrol and diesel have the same standard yearly payment, so it doesn’t really matter too much what you pick here. In essence, you could pick a highly polluting and highly exciting petrol car, pay the first year rate and then be quids in! So, maybe these new tax rates have made it an ideal time to get the fast petrol performance car you always wanted.

2040 ban

The government have said that in 2040 any new solely petrol or diesel cars built will we banned from the UK.

When the ban comes in place

When the ban comes fully into effect, it will only affect NEW petrol and diesel cars. This means that any solely petrol or diesel cars that were registered before this time can still be driven on UK roads legally.


But let’s not forget that hybrid cars require a petrol engine as well as a battery.

So, even after the ban comes in, there is still likely to be petrol easily available across the UK for years to come.

But be mindful, with the new tax changes, hybrids have been hit rather hard in comparison to the previous tariffs. The standard tax rate from the second year onwards is only £10 less than that of a completely petrol or diesel car.

In summary

Although electric and alternative fuelled vehicles are on the roads more and more, they still carry a hefty price tag – especially if buying from new.

Petrol is still a staple in Britain and is set to be for many more years. Although there is a ban scheduled for 2040, you can buy a petrol car now and are still able to drive it after that period!

So, there’s really no reason not to buy a petrol car right now. And the same argument goes for diesel cars too!

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