With diesel cars gaining popularity, it is quite easy to spot a diesel car. Some new, some as good as new and some are old but as much run as new. What are the basic reasons behind buying a diesel car?

  1. Higher torque, making the car comparatively easier to drive in city or hills
  2. Lower running costs as compared to the petrol siblings of the diesel cars because of lower fuel cost and higher fuel economy on offer

Going by the word of a large chunk of buyers, the lower running cost is a bigger cause for the shift of a majority of buyers from the petrol cars to their diesel siblings.

5857875608_40b6643dde_oDo you really need a diesel car at your monthly running? Are you really saving the money by buying a diesel car or your saving is just virtual and is never going to turn into the true saving ever? Here by applying some simple mathematics (which anyone can apply at home) we have tried to find out if you are really saving something by buying a car equipped with an oil burner or you are simply ending up losing your money in the long-term of ownership. Here we bring you the truth behind the ownership costs of a car, true and naked by The Naked Truth.

We give a special thanks to Maruti Suzuki for providing us some of the cars in their respective segments which prove to be a fantastic compromise between ownership experience as well as fun behind the wheel factor. So we take here one of the bestsellers from the stable of Maruti Suzuki as a reference vehicle for making our calculations, Swift ZXi and Swift ZDi are the cars, we are going to base our calculations on. Why not the ‘V’ trims of the Swift? Simple, because at The Naked Truth, we, believe in promoting safe driving practices as well as safer cars for a safer journey.

Costs involved in the calculations are:

  1. Purchasing costs and fixed costs like insurance etc
  2. Running and maintenance costs

Car and variant details under consideration


Price break down## for both the cars


Fuel prices At New Delhi as on 1st Jan 2015 for Bharat Petroleum fuel

For reaching the results, we will move ahead considering two main aspects; purchasing cost and running cost where purchasing cost consists of the price of the car, down payments, EMI and insurance of the car and running cost includes the fuel and servicing costs.

Purchasing Cost

If a person buys a Swift in these two variants by making a down payment of INR 3,00,000 and getting the remaining amount financed from State Bank Of India with an installment of INR 2,045 per lac for a duration of five years. Then the actual money he will be paying for the car is as shown in table below:


Payment and EMI details

Running Cost

With a running of 1500 kilometers per month or 50 kilometers per day, you can see the comparison of monthly fuel consumption and fuel cost for the variants in the table below:


Monthly fuel consumption and fuel cost details

While the maintenance (service) cost is given in table 6 for a running of 60,000 kilometers for both the cars as well as an expected maintenance cost for running the car for 90,000 kilometers in a duration of five years. Servicing cost estimation for both cars is shown below:


Servicing cost estimation for both cars

Moving ahead to our calculations taking all the calculated and collected data into consideration, we get the results.

Maruti Suzuki Swift ZXi (Petrol), bought making a down payment of INR 3,00,000 and with a running of 1,500 kilometers per month will have a monthly ownership cost as.


Maruti Suzuki Swift ZDi (Diesel), bought making a down payment of INR 3,00,000 and with a running of 1,500 kilometers per month will have a monthly ownership cost as.


While for a duration of 60 months or 90,000 kilometers@1,500 kilometers per months, you end up paying your money into installments, servicing costs, insurance and components replacements. Here we consider only regular servicing cost, EMI and insurance cost for 60 months or five years and get the results as shown in the table below:


Total Ownership Cost Break Down

So for a running of 1500 kilometers per month or less, the petrol version of the same car proves to be a better bet. So when will be a diesel car a better bet? In the above mentioned case, the breaking point comes in the sixth year or around 70,000 kilometers, after which the diesel car starts giving its owner the benefits and true savings. If the running is lesser, the breaking point will come even later and vice versa. Rest, let’s have a look at the monthly ownership cost when the running gets higher.

For Maruti Suzuki Swift ZXi (Petrol)


Running cost for Maruti Suzuki Swift petrol for different monthly running

For Maruti Suzuki Swift ZDi (Diesel)


Running cost for Maruti Suzuki Swift diesel for different monthly running

Going by the calculations, we can easily conclude that in case one is buying a car on EMI, and is having a running that is lower than or around 1,500 kilometers, then going for a petrol car is a better bet while for a higher running, it’s a diesel car that is going to offer the peace of mind.

All the best for your purchase and drive safe.

Electrical Engineer by Degree, Automotive at Heart and Biker by Choice.