Buying a car in Spain. Petrol or Diesel

Just moved to Chicago area and looking to purchase a small/medium car - Peugeot 3008 comes to mind or a Hyundai i30 or similar.
Do not intend to do much mileage and thus range not an issue.
Question. Petrol or Diesel. Is the price differential worth it for economy? What about the bans that are forecast in some cities for diesel cars?
Any advice appreciated.



Diesel fuel is much cheaper than petrol in Spain. When I bought a car I didn't hesitate to buy diesel especially as diesel cars are so much more popular amongst Spaniards. I thought that it would not only decrease the running costs but it would also increase the resale value. But that was eight years ago.

Now, I'd buy petrol because the environmental tide has turned against diesels and, as you say, for instance the Balearic islands are not going to allow diesel cars to be imported to the islands after some quite near date in the future.

If you are just buying at random I'd go for the most environmentally friendly petrol engine on the market or even one of the electric or hybrid cars if you can afford it. Spanish taxes on purchase of a new car are based on emissions as are the yearly road tax fees so being environmentally friendly has some economic advantages. If you do decide on petrol and you don't care much about which car it is it would also give you a criterion to shop against.

Dear Culebronchris,

My thoughts were aligned with your answer. Thanks - mind made up and will compare a hybrid as well


Toyota have just announced they will be stopping selling diesals in Europe.
If you are after a new car get a petrol. even look for the elusive petrol car in Spain if you can.

It depends on how long you're planning to stay here and to keep the vehicle.
Most banks and leasing companies do "renting" for private use, these solution are a far better choice than buying if you're planning to change it after 4 or 5 years.
Having said that, I'd still go for a diesel these days. It is still "allowed", especially if you lease a new Euro6 model, the cost of the fuel at the pump is cheaper and the diesel engines are generally more efficient than petrol, which means more MPG.

Thanks for your reply.

As we will be permanent residents in Spain and  we don't to do much driving plus the  need to get all capital cost up front before retiring,  leasing is not on our radar. I think then, all things considered, we will by a reasonably high end petrol vehicle to last us at least 7-10 years.


Renting doesn't need any capital cost up front, if you sum capital cost for buying, depreciation, insurance, maintenance, tyres, repairs, etc..., you'd be better off with renting rather than owning.
Bansacar - Santander Bank


I understand that but with a monthly rental cost it will be a drain on funds going forward. My ethos is that while I'm reasonably flush with funds, purchase a vehicle as later down the road, who knows if rentals can be afforded. Still have to do the figures properly to see how much of a drain in later years.  Thanks for your input

Modern petrol cars are pretty good now and get more MPG than you use to, say 10 years ago. There is a lot of talk about banning diesel cars in cities across Europe.

Thanks - thats what worries me - they doing this in India of all places particularly in Delhi. I am sure others soon to follow.