Study: Diesel Vehicles Have Lower Cost of Ownership

Diesel vehicles are highly praised for being efficient—and a hoot to drive. But did you know that diesel cars could also save you a ton of money?

That’s the chief finding of a new study conducted by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI). The organization found that diesel vehicles save owners between $2,000 to $6,000 in total ownership costs during a three to five year period when compared to similar gasoline vehicles.

Researchers analyzed total cost of ownership by developing three and five year cost estimates of depreciation based on used vehicle auction data, as well as fuel costs. They combined these estimates with three and five year estimates for repairs, fees and taxes, insurance, and maintenance. Researchers said, “The idea that one can get a return on one’s initial higher investment in a diesel vehicle within three years is a very positive sign, considering that new vehicle buyers tend to keep their new vehicles for an average of three to five years.” Estimates of savings for three the five years range from $67 to $15,619, but most of the savings are between about $2,000 and $6,000.

Diesels provide driving fun because they are loaded with the low-end torque, which gives them the ability to rapidly accelerate from a standstill.

The current U.S. market for diesels is dominated by Volkswagen, with the diesel version of the Jetta, Passat and Golf leading the way. According to the UMTRI study, over a three-year period, a VW Jetta owner saves $3,128; the VW Jetta Sportwagen owner saves $3,389, and the VW Golf owner saves an estimated $5,013.

Now, diesel variants from American brands are hitting the market, with the diesel-powered Chevrolet Cruze available since May.

Nearly all of the diesel vehicles in the study held their value better than comparable gas cars—with five vehicles showing double digit percentage savings, going as high as 39 percent.

And all of the diesel vehicles had better miles per gallon than the gasoline versions with the diesels having between 8 to 44 percent higher miles per gallon. Diesel vehicles had lower fuel costs than all the gas versions of comparable vehicles, with 11 of 12 vehicles showing double-digit reductions in fuel costs, ranging from 10 to 29 percent.

Article by Brad Berman, appearing courtesy ebay Green Driving.

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