Petrol or Diesel?

When it comes to hiring a generator, there are enough considerations as it is. Deciding where to position it, what power output you need and ensuring easy access and ventilation is enough to keep you busy.

So, we’re making yet another decision that you’ll need to make much easier. What fuel is better for my generator hire, petrol or diesel?

Petrol and diesel generators both have their pros and cons, so let’s run through them to help you in your decision making.

Click Here To Open A Rehire UK Account

Hiring a Diesel Generator

The cons of diesel generators compared with petrol:

  • Diesel is about 10% more expensive than petrol. If you are hiring your generator for a short sharp period of time, this is definitely something to consider.
  • Diesel generators emit more carbon dioxide and are generally worse for the environment. Projects with environmental regulations should be cautious when using diesel-fuelled generators.

Open A Rehire Uk Account

However, diesel generators do have a lot of benefits. Where generator use is consistent and power needs are high, these become increasingly apparent:

  • Despite being more expensive, diesel generators actually require less fuel, burning generally 50% less fuel over any given period of time.
  • Requiring less fuel means that not only are diesel generators more efficient, but they produce less carbon dioxide over time than other fuels as it burns more slowly.
  • Being the most popular choice for industrial use, diesel is readily available across the industry.
  • Diesel is not as flammable as petrol and so can be stored much more safely and easily.
  • Diesel works well in colder climates, (which is very helpful in the UK!)
  • Diesel has a longer shelf life than petrol, and so can be safely held for longer.
  • Generators that use diesel don’t require an ignition system, unlike petrol. No ignition system means one less thing to worry about breaking.

Hiring a Petrol Generator

The cons of petrol generators compared with diesel:

  • Petrol generators tend to break down faster than their counterparts because they run much hotter, leaving more opportunities for problems.
  • Petrol is much more volatile and flammable than diesel, so much greater caution is required when handling and storing.
  • Less fuel-efficient than diesel.

The pros of petrol generators:

  • Because they have been around for longer and are more common (becoming less so) there is a much greater choice of models for hire or purchase.
  • Although they are less fuel-efficient, petrol generators can be much more cost-effective on a smaller scale.
  • Petrol generators are better for infrequent or temporary use, as you wouldn’t notice the cost-effectiveness of diesel over a short period of time.
  • Generators fuelled by petrol tend to run much more quietly and produce less harmful carbon dioxide fumes than their diesel counterparts, making their use generally a more pleasant experience.


Whilst both sides have their benefits and drawbacks, ultimately it comes down to what your needs and requirements are and what your generator will be used for.

Should you be requiring power for a short period of time, perhaps petrol is the better choice for you. On the contrary, diesel-fuelled generators are vastly more effective for bigger projects requiring more power and on a larger scale.


If you are looking for generator hire and aren’t sure where to start, contact one of our experts here.

At ReHire UK we have access to an extensive fleet of generators including large generators, bunded fuel tanks and smaller generators.

Offering competitive prices, we deliver our equipment anywhere in the UK and are always on hand for our expert knowledge and advice.

Visit our website to find out the different types of generators we have available or get in touch to discuss your requirements.

Open A Rehire Uk Account