Sun, 26 Jan 2003

Gasoline vs diesel: Battle for most economic fuel

Arief Hidayat, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The fuel hike announced on Jan. 1 caused nationwide protests. And although the government revised the policy and lowered fuel prices on Jan. 20, the price of gasoline is unchanged at Rp 1,810 per liter.

Meanwhile, the price of automotive diesel fuel has been slashed from Rp 1,860 per liter to Rp 1,650 per liter.

In the past, people preferred cars that ran on diesel because it was considerably cheaper than gasoline.

So with the new fuel prices, are diesel cars still the more economical choice?

Vehicle Tax

Diesel car owners have to pay higher vehicle taxes compared to the owners of cars that take gasoline. For a 2,400 cc Toyota Kijang van that runs on diesel, the owner must pay Rp 991,500 in taxes annually.

The owner of a 2,000 cc Toyota Kijang that takes gasoline must pay vehicle taxes of Rp 900,000 million a year.

Fuel Consumption

A 2,000 cc Toyota Kijang that takes gasoline can go for up to nine kilometers per liter. With that price of gasoline at Rp 1,810 per liter, that translates to Rp 201 per kilometer.

A 2,400 cc Toyota Kijang taking diesel can get up to seven kilometers per liter. If the price of diesel is Rp 1,650, that translates to Rp 235.7 per kilometer.


The price of used 2,000 cc Toyota Kijangs that take gasoline remain relatively high. These vehicles are favored by car buyers because of their easy maintenance and tough engines.

That is not the case with Kijang vans that take diesel. Their resale prices continued to drop in 2002 following a rise in the price of diesel.