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Which is the Best Petrol or Diesel Car?

What are Petrol and Diesel Cars?

The definition of petrol and diesel cars is easy to understand. Wondering how? Read along!

A vehicle that features a petrol engine (has internal combustion with spark ignition) and runs on petrol is called a petrol car.

On the other hand, diesel cars use internal combustion engines, have a compression-ignited injection system, and run on diesel.

Here are the top 5 cars with both petrol and diesel engine options available in India.


Petrol Version (Ex-Showroom Price*)

Diesel Version (Ex-Showroom Price*)

Tata Altroz

₹6.60 lakh onwards

₹8.80 lakh onwards

Tata Nexon

₹8.10 lakh onwards

₹11 lakh onwards

Hyundai Creta

₹10.87 lakh onwards

₹11.96 lakh onwards

Kia Seltos

₹10.90 lakh onwards

₹12 lakh onwards

Mahindra XUV700

₹14.03 lakh onwards

₹14.47 lakh onwards

Note: All prices here are the ex-showroom price in Delhi.

As the basic idea of petrol or diesel cars is clear to you, let’s learn about the differences between these variants.

Difference Between Petrol Cars and Diesel Cars

Follow the table mentioned below to get the answer to your question of ‘which car is best - petrol or diesel’.





Diesel cars provide increased mileage. A diesel engine does not require a spark plug and hence has a higher compression. This enables diesel-powered vehicles to utilise fuel to the maximum level.

Petrol cars offer less mileage.


Cars powered by a diesel engine have a longer stroke (requires more compression to burn), allowing it to rev less and put a high amount of torque for an engine of similar size.

Cars powered by a petrol engine have a shorter stroke, which lets them rev more and place more power.

Car Price

Diesel variants are a bit expensive.

Petrol variants are less expensive. The showroom price between diesel and petrol variants ranges from ₹1- ₹1.5 lakh. The difference in the case of on-road prices also increases as the registration cost of a diesel car is higher than that of a petrol car. In general, there is a 1%-3% difference. This depends on the vehicle cost and the state from where the vehicle is purchased.

Cost of Fuel

The rates vary from one state to another. The diesel rate is ₹85.01 per litre (as of 12th November 2021).

The petrol rate is ₹100.58 per litre (as of 12th November 2021).

Resale Value

The price for resale is high.

The resale price is low.

Car Insurance

As the cost of diesel cars is high, insurance costs automatically go on a higher side. The difference can range from 10%-15%.

The amount of car insurance is less for petrol cars as the car price is lower than diesel cars.


Diesel cars produce less carbon dioxide and more pollutant particles, hence causing more harm to the environment.

Petrol cars generate more carbon dioxide but fewer pollutant particles, hence causing less harm to the environment.


Diesel variants produce excessive noises.

Diesel variants produce less noise.

If you are wondering ‘which is better between petrol and diesel car?’, the table mentioned above can help you decide the best variant. Furthermore, let’s see different conditions for selecting one fuel engine/type over another and vice versa.

When is a Diesel Car Preferable over a Petrol Car?

When is a Petrol Car Preferable over a Diesel Car?

Diesel and Petrol Price in India

Fuel Type

Price in Delhi


₹96.72 per litre


₹89.62 per litre

Note: Prices sourced from Indian Oil Corporation as of December 16, 2023. 

An important note here. When buying a petrol or diesel car in India, securing car insurance is crucial as it is mandatory by the Motor Vehicles Act of 1988. It provides financial protection against accidents, theft, and damage, safeguarding your investment. 

Having car insurance also saves you from hefty traffic fines, license suspension and even legal trouble.

Read the elaborate discussion on the petrol vs diesel car and find a suitable variant for you!

FAQs about Petrol and Diesel Cars in India