Would I be better off buying a diesel as my next new car? Most of my driving consists of short, urban journeys – totalling about 7000 miles a year.
Also, why is it that automatic gearboxes are hardly ever available on diesel-powered cars? I’m currently driving a petrol automatic and, having been impressed by a diesel manual hire car on holiday, I wonder why I can’t have what I think is the best of both worlds – a diesel and an automatic. Mark Harris
There’s a lot to consider here, but generally we’d only recommend a diesel if you covered 15,000 miles a year or more.
That's because diesels are more expensive to buy and you’ll have to do a lot of miles to recoup the extra purchase cost in fuel savings. It could take decades at your current mileage.
We recently investigated the ongoing debate of ‘petrol vs. diesel’ – take a look at our conclusions by clicking here.
There are plenty of diesels with automatic gearboxes, although fewer are available in smaller cars like superminis than in executive and luxury cars, because they normally push the price up.
If it’s a supermini you’re after, try the Fiat Panda 1.3 Multijet Dynamic (£8895), or the Renault Clio 1.5 dCi 86 Expression Quickshift5 (£12,610).