From traffic-choked streets to sky-high congestion charges, driving in London can be a headache. That is, unless you’re behind the wheel of one of the best cars for London. Designed to zip around cities, these eco-friendly models are perfect for driving in the capital. From the ultra-compact Smart Fortwo Coupe to the all-electric Peugeot e-208, read on for our roundup of the best cars for London driving.

1. Audi A1 Sportback

Forget Chelsea Tractors. The latest Audi A1 Sportback packs style, luxury and space into a small package. This sleek model looks right at home driving around posh neighbourhoods like Kensington and Notting Hill. Light up the London night with powerful LED headlights and stay safe with the latest pedestrian and cyclist detection technology. The engine is small and highly efficient, a big draw for eco-conscious Londoners. 

2. Renault Twingo

A French-inspired silhouette isn’t the only feature to love about the Renault Twingo. The model swaps a standard front engine for rear placement, which unlocks extra cabin space and delivers an impressive turning circle. If you’ve ever pulled off a U-turn in London or manoeuvred into an ultra-tight parallel parking spot, you’ll know why this feature makes the Twingo one of the best cars for London. 

3. Tesla Model 3

You don’t need to look hard to spot a Tesla Model 3 in the capital. This coveted car is a staple on London streets and for good reason. It’s packed with next-generation technology and delivers a huge range of up to 374 miles. Unlike other EVs, Tesla drivers enjoy access to London’s ultra-fast Supercharger network.

4. Peugeot e-208

Teslas are no longer the only EVs on London streets. Models like the Peugeot e-208 are turning heads for all the right reasons. Under the hood is an all-electric powertrain capable of delivering more than 215 miles on a single charge. This is enough to complete an entire lap of the M25 – three times! Best of all? You’ll beat the London Congestion Charge.

Charging infrastructure in London is always improving, making the Peugeot e-208 a clever choice for motorists. Looking to hot tail it out of the city on a Friday afternoon? Switch into sport mode for heightened speed and performance. You’ll be off the motorway and into the countryside in no time. This makes the e-208 one of the best cars for London motorists who love to escape the city.

5. Smart Fortwo Coupe

This picket-sized model shares the same base as the Renault Twingo, which means you’ll enjoy an excellent turning circle. Once again, a huge bonus for navigating the highly congested streets of London.

The spacious boot of the Smart Fortwo Coupe is ideal for transporting groceries from A to B or packing in luggage for a weekend escape to the country. Unlock even more room by folding down the passenger seat. The standard engine is more than capable of city driving, though we recommend upgrading to the turbocharged engine if you plan to hit the motorway regularly. 

6. Mini Countryman Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV)

The Mini Countryman PHEV is an eco-conscious take on the best-selling model. It’s not fully electric, but with CO2 emissions of between 40 and 46g/km, it sidesteps the London Congestion Charge. Electric range is approximately 30 miles – enough to get you from Wimbledon to Wembley and back. If you’re looking for a PHEV for short commutes, the Mini Countryman is one of the best cars for London. Safety is front of mind in this model. For example, the acoustic pedestrian protection projects an external noise when you’re driving in whisper-quiet EV mode.

7. Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

Get behind the wheel of a Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, one of the most popular hybrids in the UK. Enjoy all the benefits of an SUV, including an elevated driving position for superior visibility. The 13.8kWh battery promises almost 30 miles of all-electric range, perfect for London commuters. You have the petrol engine as a backup, so no need to worry about covering longer distances. Low CO2 emissions make the model exempt from the London Congestion Charge.

8. BMW 2 Series Active Tourer 225xe

Looking for a MPV that sidesteps the London Congestion Charge? The BMW 2 Series Active Tourer 225xe is one of the best large cars for London driving. This hybrid people carrier isn’t just spacious. It’s packed with city-friendly features like lane departure warnings, speed limit information and, best of all, parking assist technology. Whether you’re squeezing into a parallel spot in Chiswick or attempting a tight reverse park in Paddington, you’ll be glad you’re driving one of the best cars for London.

Heading to the M25? The BMW 2 Series Active Tourer 225xe takes you from zero to 62 mph in just under seven seconds. Drive in all-electric mode and you’ll get between 25 and 32 miles of emission-free miles. You’re free to enter London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), making it ideal for commuters.

9. Mini Electric

Small and zippy, the Mini Electric is purpose-built for London life. It captures the fun and free-spirited vibe of the original 1959 model, with an eco-conscious spin. Behind the wheel you’ll enjoy a bright digital display and loads of clever driver-assist features. The 32kWh battery offers up to 145 miles on a single charge. Not ideal for longer road trips but perfect for driving around town. And yes, the electric engine means you’re exempt from the London Congestion Charge.

Find the right car loan for London driving

Want to secure the keys to one of the best cars for London? Use our purpose-built algorithm to calculate your car loan and find out how much you can borrow. Whether you’re looking for a brand-new Mini Electric or a used Audi A1 Sportback, our tailored car finance solutions can help you get behind the wheel of the best cars for London drivers.

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Representative Example

Borrowing £7,500 at a representative APR of 12.4%, annual interest rate (fixed) 12.36%, 47 monthly payments of £196.44 followed by 1 payment of £206.44 (incl. estimated £10 option to purchase fee), a deposit of £0.00, total cost of credit is £1,939.12, total amount payable is £9,439.12.

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