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Diesel may not be the cheapest

Total cost of ownership higher than gasoline-powered cars


August 23, 2012
by Fleet Management staff

BINGHAM FARMS, Michigan–Consumers seeking shelter from high gas prices won’t always find the relief they might expect by turning to diesels. The Vincentric 2012 Diesel Analysis determined that of 23 diesels measured, only eight had total cost-of-ownership that was lower than their all-gasoline powered counterparts, despite lower fuel costs for all of the diesels.

The eight vehicles with lower ownership costs include all five Mercedes-Benz Diesel models, the Audi A3 Diesel, Ford F350 Diesel and the Volkswagen Touareg Diesel. When all costs to own and operate a diesel were taken into account, the average cost-of-ownership for diesels was $1,203 more than their all-gasoline powered counterparts, with results assuming an annual mileage of 15,000 over five years.

“With low fuel costs, environmental benefits and other potential savings, diesel technology is an attractive option, however, as our research shows, low ownership costs and associated cost savings are specific to certain vehicles,” said David Wurster, president of Vincentric.

Vincentric measures eight cost elements for over 2,000 vehicles configurations per model year, including depreciation, financing, fees and taxes, fuel, insurance, maintenance, opportunity cost and repairs. Each month Vincentric re-compiles its database to take into account current vehicle prices, resale values, fuel costs, finance rates and other economic and market factors to ensure that users have access to up-to-date and accurate ownership costs.