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


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


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


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.

Volkswagen e-up!


Electric cars are always bound to be amongst the cheapest to run, simply for two reasons. You don’t have to pay for petrol, and you pay a lot less road tax. Factor in the government grants you can qualify for when you buy a fully-electric vehicle and the savings start to add e-up!

The Volkswagen e-up has a rather high entry point, but you’ll soon start seeing savings on your monthly running costs. In fact, AutoExpress estimated that the e-up! costs you 24.4p per mile. That’s largely down to its smart battery with a range of 159 miles. It’s also one of the most reliable cars on the road, so you won’t be left out of pocket by expensive servicing or repair costs.

Toyota Yaris


Toyota have always been known for producing smartly efficient vehicles, designed to be reliable and low-cost. The Toyota Yaris has been one of their flagship models for a few years now, and their recent hybrid version is also one of the cheapest to run. 65mpg on the petrol engine is nothing to be sniffed at, so when you do have to switch from battery, you’ll be getting your money’s worth out of your trip to the pump. You can also make the most out of any music or entertainment subscriptions that you have on your phone, with the built in Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity systems.

Skoda Superb


If you’re after a slightly bigger car but still want to save on running costs, than the Skoda Superb hybrid model is the choice for you. The headline stat is the 188 mpg you get, a truly staggering figure for a hybrid of this size.

Aside from that, it’s an excellent all-rounder, with the key selling point (apart from the MPG) is the intelligent use of interior space. Add to that the low price point and generous kit that comes as standard, and it’s the perfect low-cost family car.

Smart ForTwo EQ


Your taste for Smart’s brand of cars may vary, but there’s no denying they make some of the most cost-effective city cars on the market. One of the cheapest cars to buy new is the Smart ForTwo EQ. A big part of that is the electric engine, which means you save on fuel and tax. But this is a car very much built for short trips in the city or town. 80 mile range on the battery isn’t the largest, and the two seats mean it is not suited for a family car. But what you do get is a smartly designed vehicle that is easy to drive and perfect for navigating busy urban centres.

Hyundai i10


One of the best small hatchbacks on the road, the Hyundai i10 has won numerous awards for its overall quality. A big part of that is how economical it is to run. AutoExpress have again worked out how much the car will cost you over the first 3 years of ownership and have it down as 27p per mile. Ideal for lots of trips on the motorway, so if you have to travel long distances often, then this is the model for you.

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