Diesel vs. Gas Truck: What's the Difference?

Hannah DeWitt
· 4 min read
Since gas-powered cars are everywhere, it might seem tempting to try something different and go diesel. There are benefits to a diesel truck, especially for those who want some added power.
With the help of
Driving.ca
, we’ve sketched out the pros and cons in the diesel versus gas debate. Though they are fuel-efficient and powerful, diesel cars have extra costs that might make you want to stick with gas.
Diesel trucks are more fuel-efficient, but gas trucks might cost less overall.

Why is a diesel truck better?

For those who need something heavy-duty and regularly drive long distances, diesel could be a good option for you. Typically, diesel trucks cost more than those with gas engines, especially when you’re first buying them, as diesel is usually featured as an add-on for gas-powered cars.
Diesel add-ons can cost over $5,000 for midsize trucks and around $10,000 for heavy-duty trucks. The priciness comes from diesel-specific parts that are stronger and help control the truck’s emissions. However, this strength is what gives diesel trucks built-in longevity and power.
Diesel trucks are also more fuel-efficient, which can help offset their initial expense. Even so, things like oil changes are more expensive, and their emissions systems need to be maintained or refilled, which adds more costs. 
Diesel engines need diesel exhaust fluid to offset the pollutants they emit, and they have particulate filters that need maintenance, especially if the truck is mostly driving short distances. In general, diesel is best for those who need the power and efficiency and are willing to pay a bit more for it.
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Why might gas be a better choice?

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If your driving schedule involves shorter distances traveled regularly, it could be wise to go with a gas truck. Despite diesel trucks being more efficient, automakers are improving the fuel economy of gas-powered vehicles enough that the difference between the two is lessening.
There’s also no guarantee that a diesel truck will return its investment in fuel.
Fluctuating fuel prices
can slow that process, plus increased maintenance costs mean consistent extra payments.
With a gas engine, you might pay more for fuel, but you’ll also be paying less for everything else. However, diesel engines do last longer than gas ones, so old-age issues and expenses may hit earlier with a gas car.
If towing power is a necessity for you, gas tends to be a bit less powerful than diesel. Though some gas trucks can tow as much or more than bulkier diesel trucks, in general, diesel trucks have better towing capacity.

Is the diesel vs. gas debate still relevant?

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Going with gas or diesel is really dependent on what you need your car to be capable of. If you don’t need a large towing capacity and don’t regularly drive longer distances, then you’ll likely just incur extra expenses from a diesel truck. However, a gas truck will have less power, longevity, and fuel economy, so if those are necessities, diesel is your best bet.
Nevertheless, this debate might soon be off the table anyway. With the direction the world’s cars are going, electric vehicles (EVs) will quickly take over the car market soon. Not only that, but combustion cars will be actively discouraged, with governments already trying to shift new car sales to EVs.
With that in mind, it might be best to hold off on buying a new combustion truck and start looking at promising EVs like the Ford F-150 Lightning. And when you do buy a car, make sure to insure it with
Jerry
. Jerry is the easiest and most effective way to find a car insurance policy that is customized for you.
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