Diesel Vans And Petrol Vans: The Pros And Cons Revealed

Posted on Dec 13 2013 - 11:34am by Laura Styles

Diesel Van

Whether you’re looking to buy a new Ford Transit or a used Ford Transit for commercial or personal purposes, you’ll be presented with a further choice: petrol or diesel? All of the Transit vans in the Ford range are available with both petrol and diesel engines in various sizes. Diesel vans hold certain advantages over their petrol counterparts, but there are negatives that need to be taken into consideration when making your choice, too. The same is true of petrol vehicles. Here at Ford Transit Direct we can supply our customers with both petrol and diesel vehicles so ultimately the choice is yours – however, we’ve detailed the pros and cons of both choices below. Read on to find out which commercial vehicle is the right one for you.

Diesel vans

Diesel engines used to have a negative reputation amongst motorists and pedestrians alike, being associated with noxious emissions and a distinctly agricultural level of performance. In recent years, however, the reputation of diesel vehicles has completely transformed, and now they’re known for a very different set of attributes. Take a look at the pros and cons below:


  • Fuel efficiency – Generally, diesel vehicles are more fuel efficient than their petrol equivalents, allowing you to travel further for less.
  • CO² emissions – Diesel vehicles tend to release less CO² into the atmosphere than petrol vehicles, reducing your carbon footprint and causing less harm to the environment.
  • Road tax – As a result of their low carbon emissions, diesel vans qualify for a cheaper rate of road tax than petrol vans.
  • Depreciation – Diesel vans will often depreciate less quickly than their petrol equivalents, retaining resale value for longer.


  • Vehicle cost – The diesel equivalent of the very same petrol vehicle will usually be slightly more expensive to buy, due to the complexity involved in manufacture.
  • Performance – Traditionally, diesel engines were thought to possess less power and torque than petrol engines. While that disparity has been addressed to a certain extent, the same is still widely true today.
  • Insurance – A diesel vehicle will usually cost more to insure than a petrol vehicle, due to the value of the van and the potential cost of a repair.
  • Fuel cost – Diesel costs more to buy at the pumps than petrol, but drivers will usually make their money back and then some thanks to the fuel efficiency of diesel vehicles.

Petrol Vans

For a long time, petrol vehicles were the vans of choice for commercial workers. Powerful, reliable and inexpensive, it’s only recently that diesel vans have edged ahead in the popularity stakes. Petrol vans still make able workhorses for commercial customers, however. Just take a look at the pros and cons below:


  • Performance – Petrol engines are usually more powerful than equivalent size diesel engines, making them useful for motorway driving and overtaking.
  • Vehicle cost – Petrol vans tend to be a little cheaper in comparison to their diesel equivalents.
  • Insurance – Petrol vehicles often cost less to insure than diesel vehicles, unless you select a particularly robust engine size!
  • Fuel cost – Petrol is cheaper than diesel at the pumps, but you’ll usually find that your tank runs dry more quickly than those who drive diesel units.


  • Fuel efficiency – Petrol engines aren’t particularly efficient, and will tend to burn through fuel more quickly than diesel motors.
  • CO² emissions – More fuel consumption means more CO² emissions, which is bad news for the environment.
  • Road tax – More CO² emissions means a higher rate of road tax, which won’t improve your bank balance.
  • Depreciation – Petrol vehicles don’t tend to retain their value as well as diesel vehicles, meaning you might be left short-changed following a resale.

Ultimately, both petrol and diesel vans have something to commend them to potential customers, so why not make up your mind based on the pros and cons listed above before taking a look at the range of new and used Ford Transit vans available on our website!

Photo Credit: Flickr/Les Chatfield

About the Author

Laura Styles is Business Development Manager for Jennings Ford. She loves whizzing about in her Ford Transit Van and writing the Jennings Blog which discusses all things automotive. She hates drive thru coffee and seeing tall people driving small cars. You can follow her on-the-road ramblings on Twitter @Jennings_Group