With high inflation outstripping wage and benefit increases, the UK is going through a serious cost of living crisis. As a result, people are looking to cut costs in every area of their lives – and driving is no exception.

Economical cars can help you do that, saving you on fuel or even road tax over time. While it might seem like a small amount, every penny and pound will count as we all feel the squeeze over the coming months and years.

Keep reading as we look at 8 of the most economical cars that can make driving more affordable.

Most economical electric cars

First and foremost, electric vehicles account for many of the most economical cars on the market. That’s because they’re exempt from road tax thanks to zero emissions, cheaper to run because of fewer moving parts, and cheaper to power with electricity costing less than diesel or petrol.

On the flipside, they’re obviously more expensive to buy. That’s where a car loan finance calculator can help, showing you how the cost can be spread. To make things even more economical, here are some of the cheapest models available…

Fiat 500 Action

Priced at around £21,000 brand new, the Fiat 500 Action is one of the cheapest electric cars available. That’s partly down to its smaller 24kWh battery (compared to 42 kWh on previous models). As a result, the range is a modest 118 miles, making it ideal for urban commutes, short trips and general day-to-day use as long as you have a home charger.

Vauxhall Corsa-e

If you’re looking for something that can go a little further, the Vauxhall Corsa-e is a good option. The supermini’s official range is 222 miles, with prices starting around £25,000 brand new. It’s nice and lightweight so the charge won’t be used up unnecessarily. Naturally, with both of these cars, there’s a lot of money to be saved going for a used, older model.

Most economical hybrid cars

If you’re not ready to be plugging in just yet, or maybe you live in a remote area where chargers aren’t readily available, hybrids offer a good alternative. They use regenerative braking to generate electricity while driving, meaning you can supplement fuel from the pump without any extra work.

Toyota Yaris (and Yaris Cross)

Toyota is leading the way when it comes to hybrid efficiency. Both its Yaris 1.5 Hybrid and Yaris Cross 1.5 Hybrid offer around 60mpg on average.

The standard Yaris is smaller and cheaper to buy, making it the most economical hybrid car that’s ideal for individuals, couples or small families. As a small SUV, the Yaris Cross provides all that, plus a little extra space and the sought-after SUV styling – albeit at a little extra cost.

Elsewhere, the Toyota Prius is another top contender. While it doesn’t quite match the Yaris for fuel-efficiency, it’s been around for much longer, meaning there are a greater choice of older, used vehicles at a cheaper price.

Most economical diesel cars

While cars that are powered solely by fuel burning can’t quite match the efficiency of electric and hybrid models, they’re still some of the most economical cars, thanks to their lower price tags. Of the two fuels, diesel is known for its better fuel economy – making the next two cars a pretty good option overall…

Peugeot 208

With a 1.5-litre BlueHDi diesel engine, the Peugeot 208 achieves around 70mpg. Despite being a relatively small car, its five-door design makes it easy enough for rear passengers to get in and out. Its 311 litres of boot space makes it similar to other small cars, with the option to fold down rear seats for a 1,100 litre total.

Vauxhall Corsa

A second mention for the much-loved Vauxhall Corsa – this time for its 1.5 Turbo D model rather than its electric counterpart. It’s almost a carbon copy of the Peugeot 208 with the tiniest difference in mpg and boot space. That said, it does have a more responsive drive, meaning you can go economical without feeling it on every corner.

Most economical petrol cars

Out of all the fuel options, petrol is typically the least efficient – but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not economical. There are plenty of petrol cars to choose from with small engines, which makes them cheaper to buy and run. By choosing a smaller petrol car, you can still get from A to B at a relatively low cost.

Peugeot 108

First on sale in 2014, the Peugeot 108 is the quintessential economical car. It has an official mpg of just under 59mpg, thanks to a modest 1-litre engine and small, lightweight design. That does pose some issues for practicality, with the car and its 180-litre boot more suited to people travelling alone or as a pair. However, if you’re looking to cut costs, it’s hard to go better than this reliable city car.

Citroen C1

Like our top diesel contenders, we have another case of two similar cars matching each other stride for stride. The Citroen C1 is another economical car powered by petrol, with the same mpg as Peugeot’s city car – though it does come with a slightly bigger boot.

Keep your car economical

With the cost of fuel at an all-time high, not to mention everything else rising in price, it’s never been more important to have a car that’s economical to run. Invariably, that means you’re better off with newer models that are more fuel-efficient.

With My Car Credit, you can make your purchase as economical as your up-to-date car. We compare finance from our established network of lenders, saving you time while ensuring you get an affordable deal that spreads the cost of your next car.

If you have any questions about our process, don’t hesitate to contact our team on enquiries@mycarcredit.co.uk and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

Representative APR 8.9%

Evolution Funding Ltd T/A My Car Credit

My Credit Rating

Excellent

  • You are a home owner
  • You have been on the electoral role for a long period of time
  • You have current credit arrangements and mortgage with no defaults
  • You have no CCJs, credit arrears or missed payments
  • You rarely apply for credit
  • You are employed or self-employed

Good

  • You are on the electoral role
  • You are a home owner or long standing tenant
  • You have a stable employment history
  • You have current credit arrangements with occasional missed payments
  • You have no CCJs

Fair

  • You are or have recently been on the electoral role
  • You may have recently changed address
  • You may have occasional missed payments
  • You may have an old CCJ
  • You may have regularly applied for credit

Poor

  • You may have had frequent changes in address
  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • You may have exceeded credit card limits
  • You may have missed payments on current agreements
  • You may have had a CCJ in the past

Bad

  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • Your credit cards are over their limits
  • You have recent CCJs
  • You may have been refused credit elsewhere
  • You may be in a debt management plan
£

X monthly repayments of
£X

Typical rate

Loan amount

Total payable

X% APR*

£X

£X

*for illustration purposes only

No impact on your credit score*

Representative Example

Borrowing £7,500 at a representative APR of 8.9%, annual interest rate (fixed) 8.86%, 47 monthly payments of £184.94 followed by 1 payment of £194.94 (incl. estimated £10 option to purchase fee), a deposit of £0.00, total cost of credit is £1,387.12, total amount payable is £8,887.12.

Evolution Funding Limited, trading as My Car Credit, is a credit broker and not a lender.

Please ensure you can afford the repayments for the duration of the loan before entering into a credit agreement.

*Initial application is a soft search. Should you progress, some lenders may perform a hard search on your credit file.

Require more help?

Got a question you can’t find the answer to, or need some advice and guidance around taking out car finance? Our Car Credit Specialists are friendly, experienced, and here to help so get in touch today!