An average Indian faces many challenges in selecting his/her lifestyle as there are plenty of options available. More options confuse the human mind as he/she has to scrutinize all the possible options and select the best one. It may be a 2 bedroom house or a 3 bedroom one, a 150cc bike or 200cc one, a Rs. 7 lakh fully loaded hatchback or a base version of a sedan, etc. The biggest challenge for an Indian lies when he chooses a car and things get worse if the car has both petrol and diesel versions. Now a days almost all four wheeler vehicles in the market above the price tag of Rs. 5 lakhs is equipped with both the engines. Before buying a vehicle we do common calculations but tend to miss out some ingredients and end up with the wrong numbers. Hence we made an effort in doing some calculations to help out our readers in taking the right decision.

Here are some assumptions that are taken for calculations –

1) Difference between the price of petrol and diesel remain same.
2) Both the petrol and diesel variants are maintained in the same condition.
3) The driver and driving scenarios are same.
4) The car being driven 15,000 kms per year with AC ON.
5) Depreciation while selling the car is same for both variants.

To explain the procedure, Swift VXi (Petrol) and Swift VDi (Diesel) hatchbacks were selected. The reason for choosing these variants is quite simple; they are hit models.

** All the prices are with respect to Bangalore.

Figures for Petrol –

1) Cost of Swift VXi (on-road) – Rs. 6.34 lakhs
2) Cost of petrol (per litre) – Rs. 78.4/-
3) Swift petrol overall mileage (km per litre) – 11
4) Transportation cost per km – Rs. 7.12/-
5) Transportation cost per person per km – Rs 1.42/-

Figures for Diesel –

1) Cost of Swift VDi (on-road) – Rs. 7.71 lakhs
2) Cost of diesel (per litre) – Rs. 58.4/-
3) Swift diesel overall mileage (km per litre) – 16
4) Transportation cost per km – Rs 3.65/-
5) Transportation cost per person per km – Rs 0.73

The price difference between the petrol and diesel swift is Rs. 1.37 lakhs while that of the fuels are Rs. 20 per litre. On an average if you drive 40 kms per day then you will be ending up driving up approximately 15,000 kms per year. To attain the break-even situation for both the models the calculation goes like this.

Break-even for car – Assuming ones saves Rs. 1.37 lakhs and puts it in fixed deposit they would be getting a maximum interest rate of 9%. Hence at the end of one and a half year, that person would be having Rs. 1.55 lakhs. With that amount one can buy approximately 2000 litres of petrol that would propel the VXi for approximately 22,000 kms, which would last for an year and a half. Once the 22,000 kms mark is hit, it means the year and half old petrol Swift is equivalent to a brand new diesel Swift.

Break-even cost in-terms of running – If one considers the running cost then the scenario changes, petrol and diesel cars have to run approximately 40,000 kms to reach the break-even; which implies if one is planning to upgrade a car within a span of 3 years then they should rather go for a petrol variant. If one is planning to use the car for more than 3 years we would suggest you to go for a diesel one as it would be more economical on the longer run. For a usage of 5 years, one will end up spending Rs. 11.68 lakhs on Swift petrol which includes the price of the car along with fuel. Similarly on the other hand, the same person would be spending Rs. 10.44 lakhs on the diesel version.