Have you bought a new car in the past year? Chances are pretty good that you went with a diesel model.

In Australia, we love our diesel engines, with nine out of ten utes and over half of all SUVs purchased last year running on Diesel. Overall, a third of all cars sold are diesel models, and this number keeps rising. But have you stopped to consider if driving diesel is the best choice for you?

One only has to look at countries like China to see the negative effects of unchecked diesel emissions. The fine particulate matter emitted by diesel fumes can exacerbate respiratory and circulatory conditions as well as contribute to poor visibility – which are both worst case scenarios unlikely to occur down under.

It also doesn’t mean that car owners should discard their diesel models entirely, but rather that they should examine whether or not diesel engines are best for their needs. Most new diesel engines also come with improved emissions capacities and are much better driving options than the cars of yesteryear, so if you’re making a decision between the two, it’s obvious which way to go.

Diesel engines offer superior power and performance and are in their element when running on a low RPM. Butmanyof us don’t operate our vehicles in this way in urban spaces, travelling instead in short bursts and in stop-start traffic. On an international scale, four of the world’s biggest cities (France, Spain, Greece and Mexico) have actually banned diesel powered cars from driving in city centre areas. Using a diesel powered car for errands and short trips not only increases emissions but also cancels out the fuel saving advantages of the car. However if you frequently travel long uninterrupted distances across the country then you will need and enjoy the fuel efficiency, reliability and low maintenance that comes with driving diesel.

Taking into account which of the above will most likely apply to your day to day usage of a car will be a clear guide as to whether you should keep driving diesel – or if a petrol or hybrid might be a better option for you.

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