The UK is the most expensive place in the world to run a car, according to new reports, with drivers spending around £3500 on average per year on their cars. With this in mind, we decided to compile a list of the top ten most economical cars to run. Since fuel is one of the biggest expenses for drivers (check out Fair Fuel UK for the petition against rising fuel duty costs), we decided to rate our list by the MPG (miles per gallon) figure reported by the manufacturers, rather than other factors such as insurance costs, CO2 emissions or yearly average repair and servicing costs. There is no doubt that if the variable was changed, the list itself would also change. Nonetheless, here are our top ten most economical cars.
By far the most economical car on this list, and a clear winner therefore, the Vauxhall Ampera was launched in spring 2012 and was the first hybrid passenger car to be offered for sale in the UK. The Vauxhall Ampera is powered by electric motors, with a four cylinder combustion engine and generator as a back up for when the batteries run out of juice.
The Volvo V60 Plug-In Hybrid delivers everything you would expect from a Volvo – a decent amount of power, a smart design and plenty of room for the family. It has one crucial difference though – this is Volvo’s flagship hybrid car, combining a 215hp turbo-diesel engine with a zero-emissions electric motor. The driver can choose to use either the electric or diesel motor separately, or combine them to get an impressive 155mpg.
The Toyota Prius Plug-In is a hugely popular car, especially in the USA where it won the support of California’s formidable green car enthusiasts. In terms of UK sales, the Prius plug-in was beaten in its category by the Nissan Leaf, but came a respectable second nonetheless. The car received positive reviews across the board, with Autocar calling it ‘the best Prius yet.’
The Renault Clio 1.5 dCi 90 ECO is the first car on this list which doesn’t have a hybrid engine, and as such deserves a round of applause. To compete with the hybrid vehicle is no mean feat, but this Renault Clio does it well. This car is a safe bet for anyone who is still wary of hybrid engines, and best of all, it is the cheapest on our list so far, with a list price of £14,545.
Whilst no one would ever accuse the Hyundai i20 of being a quick car (the top speed is only 99mph) it at least performs well in the economy stakes, with a reported 88.3mpg figure. It’s also nice and cheap to buy, costing around £11,895 brand new and is perfect for anyone whose priority is keeping costs down.
The Kia Rio 1.1 is pretty much identical to its Hyundai sibling (pictured above) just in different clothing. It has identical stats to the Hyundai, so really the only distinction between the two is the styling you prefer.
Loved by some, hated by many, the fact is that the Smart ForTwo is pretty economical, managing a decent 85.6MPG. Whilst the cost to buy and run is cheap, the car is hugely compromised in other areas, and simply not up to the hype. If price is your thing, there are other cars on this list that will prove to be much better options.
The Peugeot 208 is yet another small engined car with great mpg. In keeping with the similar cars on this list, it’s not fast, with a top speed of only 103mph, but has everything you would expect from a modern supermini in terms of comfort and style.
Like the Hyundai and Kia, the Citroen C3 Airdream is essentially the same car as the Peugeot, just in a slightly different shell with slightly different badges. Again, it all comes down to styling.
This is the second Toyota on this list, and with good reason. The Yaris Hybrid is a top quality car, and one of Toyota’s finest after the pricier plug-in Prius. The Yaris is designed for urban driving, and in optimum conditions can achieve an impressive 91.1MPG. Take it out of town though and you can expect a more realistic average mpg of 80.7 – still a figure to keep your wallet happy.
Finally, a special mention goes out to the Volkswagen XL1 – a car that is yet to go into production, but promises a mind-blowing 313MPG. It comes with a hefty price tag of £100,000 though, so you best get saving.
So there you have it – the top ten most economical cars you can buy. No doubt this list will continue to change drastically in the months and years to come, as new hybrid cars come on the market and innovations in engines squeeze every last drop out of the fuel. However, whilst these cars might be the most economical to run, that does not mean that they are cheap to buy in the first place. With the Volvo V60 Plug-In Hybrid coming in at an eye-watering £48,775, it’s not a car that would normally be accessible to a family on an average salary, even with the £5000 government grant that goes towards the cost of buying a hybrid or electric car. However, thanks to clever car finance products such as PCP (Personal Contract Purchase) you could find that you could actually afford to be driving a newer, more expensive car for relatively low monthly payments. To find out what you could afford, make a no obligation car finance application online today!