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Fuel Calculator: How long does it take for these popular diesel cars to pay for themselves?

Those who want the most fuel efficient car will typically go straight for a diesel model – but diesel cars almost always carry a premium over their petrol counterparts. So while you might be saving money at the pumps, you still have to pay off that initial premium before the real savings begin.

We’ve taken ten popular cars and used the fuel calculator to work out how many miles you’d need to travel before the premium for diesel pays itself off. The comparison is between cars in the same trim level. These numbers don’t take into consideration other costs, like servicing or annual VED. 

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Ford C-MAX 1.6 TDCi – 16,000 miles to break even

The C-MAX is a popular model with Honest John readers and we’re regularly asked whether the diesel or Ecoboost petrol model is the best choice. They’re similarly priced and have identical emissions figures, so it’s a tricky one to figure out on paper.

A glance at the Fuel Calculator reveals that the diesel is the best choice for most, though. It might cost £500 extra but the annual fuel saving for driver covering 10,000 miles a year based on Real MPG figures is £305, so the extra economy would pay for itself within two years and after around 16,000 miles. 

Click to use the fuel calculator

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