Petrol, diesel, hybrid, plug-in hybrid or electric – which is best for you?

Petrol, diesel, hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric power suit different lifestyles differently, so what’s right for you? Answer our one-minute survey below for our recommendations

Fuel comparison tool

Answer the questions below for our recommendations

How many miles do you drive in a year?
What roads do you mostly drive on?
How far do you most commonly drive per journey?
Can you easily charge an electric car at home or work?
Show what’s best for me
Please note this advice is based on average circumstances. Further advice is available through our Real MPG and Real Range initiatives.


How does the fuel comparison tool work?

The fuel comparison tool poses a series of questions about how far you drive and the type of roads you drive on. It should take less than a minute to complete them. Your answers are used to determine the most suitable fuel type for you from a choice of diesel, electric, hybrid, petrol and plug-in hybrid. For example, if most of your journeys are less than 60 miles and you only drive in town, our top recommendations for you are likely to be a shorter range electric car or a plug-in hybrid. Conversely, if you spend every day racking up many motorway miles, we're likely to recommend a diesel or long-range electric car. Based on your answers, we'll also tell you which fuel types may also suit you and those that are the least recomendable for your driving circumstances.

What is a plug-in hybrid car?

A plug-in hybrid has a petrol or diesel engine plus a small battery pack and electric motor. It will be able to drive for as much as 60 miles, on pure electric power until the battery is depleted, then it will run on the conventional engine. It's great for drivers who mostly do short journeys, but need a car that can also cover high mileages occasionally. Read more here

What is a bi-fuel car?

A bi-fuel car is one that can run on two different fuels, most commonly they are petrol and liquified petroleum gas (LPG). Bi-fuel cars are based on standard petrol-engined models, but they have one fuel tank for each type of fuel and other modifications to enable the engine to switch between fuel sources. LPG fuel is cheaper to buy than petrol, so it can help reduce running costs, and it helps cars using it to emit less CO2 emissions.

How do I find local electric car public charging points?

There are more than 68,500 public charging points across the UK, and one way to find those near you is to check on your local council's website, as it should have a list community funded chargers that could be free or cheaper to use than those owned by private companies. It's also worth checking online to see if your local shopping centre, supermarket or nearby hotels and restaurants have chargers that are free for those using the facilities. There are also a number of charge point maps online that will show you charge points in your locality and tell you how much they cost to use.

What is a hybrid car?

A hybrid car is one that uses more than one type of power to drive the car - it will either use a petrol or diesel engine plus an electric motor. The main advantages of a hybrid are that it should consume less fuel and emit less CO2 than a comparable conventional petrol or diesel-engined vehicle. Hybrid cars also benefit from cheaper road tax (VED) and lower company car tax rates than petrol and diesel cars. Read more here

What is a mild hybrid car?

A mild hybrid car is similar to a conventional petrol car, with some additional technology that helps to reduce fuel consumption and emissions. It generally has a small battery and a 48-volt electric generator, which assists the engine during hard acceleration. It also harvests energy from braking, capturing this in the battery to provide power for the generator. Read more here

How do you charge an electric car?

There are a number of charging options, ranging from connecting your car to a household three-pin socket to visiting an ultra-rapid public charger. The time it takes to charge your car will depend on the type of charger you choose and the speed at which it can send power to the batteries. Find out more in our in-depth guide to electric car charging

How much does it cost to charge an electric car?

If you can charge your electric car at work, or if you have solar panels at your home that generate electricity, you may be able to charge it up for free. On average home charging using a low-cost overnight tariff costs around 17p per kilowatt hour, so charging a Volvo XC40 can cost less than £11. However, if you choose to use one of the fastest public chargers you will pay much more. Find out how much the various charging options cost here