When it comes to cars, there are lots of different criteria behind our choice of vehicle. How does it look? Does the colour match my personal tastes? Does it have enough seats for me and my family? And is it safe enough to protect those I love the most?

One of the biggest criteria behind our choice of car is how much it costs to run. Buying a car is a big expense. So you don’t want to have an expensive vehicle that is going to drain your account on a yearly or monthly basis. You want a car that will run smoothly with very little regular or unexpected costs. So we’ve had a look at the UK car market to see the top 3 cheapest cars to run.

Dacia Sandero

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Not only is it one of the cheapest cars to run, the Dacia Sandero is also one of the cheapest cars to buy with a brand new one available from just £7,170. While you won’t get many bells and whistles from the Sandero, the cheap initial cost means you can add on the extras you prefer. It also means that used Sanderos are even cheaper, so you can get a nearly new model for a great price.

You’ll get anything from 40-51 miles per gallon in the Sandero, depending on which engine option you go for. It’s also in the lower insurance groups, with even the thirstiest engine being in group 10 out of 50.

Kia Picanto

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It’s a bit of a stereotype that cars from the Far East are built to be efficient, reliable and cost effective. Perhaps its our ideas of these huge cities that dominate that part of the world, like Seoul or Tokyo, that makes us imagine cars having to be efficient. But there is a lot of truth to it.

So it’s no surprise that the Kia Picanto is one of the cheapest cars to run on the market. Research by price comparison site USwitch has the car costing just £230 per year to insure. Add in the tax, servicing and fuel costs, and it’s estimated it costs just £1,400 per year to run. Add in its reliability, and you are unlikely to feel the cost of this car as you drive it.

Peugeot 108

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It’s not just cars from the Far East that are cheap to run. The near east, aka France, have also created a car that’s cheap to run. The Peugeot 108 is a very cost effective little hatchback thanks to a number of factors. Insurance costs are low, averaging £250 per year. Across the year, the costs are estimated at just over £1,400, which isn’t much when you think of the fuel, tax and maintenance costs that can add up quickly in older used cars.

The car itself is a smart little hatchback that’s not as common on the road as the Fiesta, Corsa or Golf. So if you value a bit of rarity in your car selection, then choose the 108.