Fuel Efficient Cars
With the current cost of living in the UK at an all-time high, cutting costs is essential to many of us.
This not only affects the amount saved on fuel, but of course tax. The lower CO2 emissions, the less you pay. Typically tax band A – £0.00, up to band M at over £1,000 per annum.
Let’s take a look at some of the UK’s most fuel efficient cars, along with some eco driving tips to reduce those fuel costs even further. Listed below are many popular cars and also some of the most fuel efficient diesel cars, all of which offer £0 tax band A.
The Hyundai i20 offers petrol or diesel engines from 1.1 up to 1.4. Tax bands range from band A through to band D (CO2 emissions – 84g/km based on the diesel versions). The diesel Blue is one of the most none-hybrid fuel efficient cars of 2013 and has an average fuel consumption of 88.3mpg.
If speed is paramount, at 74bhp it’s likely not your first choice. If fuel efficiency is essential, with a price tag of £11,266 for the diesel, there’s little to complain about.
Renault Clio hatchback
With stunning looks, the modern Renault Clio is highly fuel efficient and great looking. The fourth generation Clio diesel 1.5 turbo matches the Hyundai i20 with its 88.3mpg, except the Clio comes with a little more power under the bonnet with 90bhp.
The extra performance however comes at a higher price of £14,345, although owners should be more than happy with the low tax band (A) with only 83g/km CO2 emissions.
Kia Rio 1.1 CRDi 1 EcoDynamics 5dr diesel
This Kia Rio is fitted with the same fuel efficient engine as the Hyundai i20 and so it’s no surprise that economy is fundamental.
Although slightly more expensive than the Hyundai at £11,895, Kia’s 7 year warranty is more than enough to justify the higher asking price. Again, the lowest tax band A with CO2 emissions at just 85g/km and a lengthy 88mpg, the Rio is a sure win for any fuel efficiency economist.
Peugeot 208 1.4 e-HDi 70 EGC
The Peugeot 208’s highly efficient 1.4 diesel features stop and start technology allowing for an reasonably impressive 74.3mpg and emits only 98g/km.
With only 70 brake horsepower it’s not the most powerful of the economy range, but style and practicality are boundless, made especially more attractive with £0 tax bill. Prices start from around £14,445.
Ford Fiesta hatchback
Pleasant on the eye and extremely economical, the Ford Fiesta 1.6 TDCi 95 Titanium ECOnetic 5dr packs in a whopping 85.6mpg and still manages tax band A at 87g/km.
On the more pricey side of the economical range of cars listed on this page, at £14,445 to £16,795, although stylish, smart and spacious, all Fiestas also come packed with excellent safety and security features as standard.
Vauxhall Corsa 1.3-litre CDTi
Yet another super economy car, this time by Vauxhall. The Corsa with its 100,000 mile lifetime warranty (dependence on first owner) is tempting in itself. Factor in 85.6mpg and only 88g/km of CO2, makes the 1.3-litre CDTi diesel almost irresistible.
With start / stop technology and depending on any extras you wish to have fitted, prices range from £9,999 to £18,000.
Citroën C3 Hatchback 1.4 e-HDi 70 Airdream
At around £12,000, the Citroën C3 offers affordability and practicality with its 300-litre load space in the boot. Economy wise, the C3’s 1.4 litre diesel engine offers a little over 83mpg with tax band A (CO2 emissions 87g/km).
The 3 year warranty offered by Citroën may deter some however, especially when compared to Kia’s 7 years.
Skoda Fabia 1.2TDi Greenline
Skoda is owned by Volkswagen and although the Skoda Fabia shares the same engine as the VW Polo, the Skoda manages better economy at 83.1mpg, with CO2 emissions at 89g/km. Prices range anywhere from £9,995 up to £17,150 depending on version and extras. A benefit that Skoda has over many of its rivals is the ability to retain higher value upon resale. Those who put in high mileage may be tempted by Skodas two year unlimited mileage warranty.
VW Polo 1.2-litre TDI BlueMotion
Utilizing the same engine as the Skoda Fabia, it of course takes us to the VW Polo 1.2-litre TDI BlueMotion. Arguably more pleasing on the eye, the Polo manages 80.1mpg with CO2 emissions maintaining tax band A at 91g/km.
Start / stop technology aids in fuel efficiency around towns and cities. The Polo comes in at around £2,000 more than the engine equivalent Skoda at around £15,000.
Fiat Punto Diesel Hatchback 1.3 Multijet 85
The stylish Fiat Punto diesel doesn’t quit match the economy of certain other efficient hatches at 80.7mpg. Still falling in the tax band A bracket with CO2 emissions of 90g/km however.
Fiat provide a 3 year warranty and the Punto diesel price is at around £14,000.
Volvo V40 Hatchback 1.6 D2 115 ES
Somewhat pricier than other cars listed here at around £20,000, but with excellent build quality and an average of over 83mpg, the Volvo V40 will appeal to many. The V40 also has a tax-friendly rating band A.
Volvo car warranty protects the owner for 3 years from the date of purchase based on the first owner, or 60,000 miles whichever comes first.
Chevrolet Aveo 1.3 VCDi 95 eco
Affordability and economy come in the form of the Chevrolet Aveo. Its 1.3 litre diesel engine takes you on an average mpg of 78.4 and coming in at a little under the 100g/km threshold limit for free tax at 95g/km.
The Chevrolet Aveo 1.3 VCDi 95 eco costs around £13,000 and offers first time owners 3 years warranty or 60,000 mile comprehensive warranty, whichever comes first.
Fuel efficient two seater cars
Micro two seaters are becoming more popular to those living in a busy urban environment. Their small size makes them easy to manoeuvre around towns and cities and their low running costs appeal to many.
Smart Fortwo Coupe 1.0 70 mhd Pulse 2dr
If micro mini cars are on your priority list, tiny 2 seaters such as the Smart Car are ideal. Although the Smart Car is light, it is petrol. Typically used for short urban drives however, this shouldn’t become too much of an issue. Even though it’s a petrol engine, fuel efficiency is impressive at 67.3mpg and just squeezing into the free tax band A bracket. Initial prices are fair at well under £10,000.
Electric and hybrid cars
With oil and petrol supplies set to eventually deplete, high carbon footprints and ever increasing fuel prices, alternatives to the fossil fuel combustion engine is the only viable future. Electric cars or hybrids that use two or more power sources are becoming more common place.
Electric cars offer lower carbon output and far more fuel efficient compared to diesel and petrol powered cars. Whether deciding electric or fossil fuel is for you, the benefits and disadvantage must be weighed up. Read our guide on electric cars to help you decide if the highly fuel efficient electric cars is in your future.
Fuel efficiency tips
Over time, cars are becoming much more fuel efficient. Unfortunately, fuel costs consistently rise leaving the consumer with little, if any savings. Of course buying the most fuel efficient car that suites your needs is the best place to start if economy is an issue. Cars with the lowest possible CO2 emissions under 100g/km will fall under tax band A which is the lowest bracket at £0. The fuel efficient cars listed on this page also fall within the cheapest car insurance band. See car insurance help and how to get cheap car insurance for further information. There are however, some further simple tips on how to save on fuel.
- Petrol or diesel?
If you do not cover many miles each year, it may be cost effective to opt for a petrol equivalent to the diesel. Diesel equivalent often cost more to purchase and may ultimately only save money if covering a higher mileage. See petrol or diesel, which is best for further information.
- Which direction?
Planning a journey before leaving enables you to take the shortest route.
- Lose weight
The more weight in your car, the more then engine needs to work to move it and the more your engine works, the more fuel it uses. Leave any unnecessary baggage at home.
- It’s hot in here
Any active electrical device consumes more fuel. One of the biggest fuel drainers are air conditioners. At slow speeds it’s fuel efficient to turn off the air con and open the windows, but at high speed it saves on fuel to close windows and use the air con.
- It’s all such a drag
The more aerodynamic your car is, the easier the air flow travels around it whilst moving. Aerodynamic drag makes your engine work harder, using more fuel. Keeping windows closed whilst moving and removing other object that increase drag such a an unused roof rack help to increase the aerodynamics around your car.
- Find the cheapest fuel
shopping around to find the cheapest fuel is of course beneficial, providing you do not need to travel too far to get it. Plan journeys to avoid refilling on motorways and dual carriageways as they are typically more expensive than supermarket petrol stations.
- Under inflated tyres
The correct air pressure in your tyres gives your car optimum grip on road surfaces and allows for less drag. Under inflated tyres force the engine to work harder to obtain the same results, therefor using more fuel.
- Anticipate slowing down and stopping
Anticipating and planning is a skill good drivers acquire that enables them to predict traffic slowing or stopping up ahead. Accelerating and braking uses more fuel. It takes energy (fuel) to make your car move, each time you brake, all that energy is transferred into friction and heat in your brakes. You then need to constantly use more fuel to gain speed again. Keeping a safe following distance reduces braking as does easing off the gas pedal and letting your car naturally slow down instead of braking harshly to a stop.
- Keeping your car serviced
A well serviced and maintained engine runs smoother and more efficiently, which ultimately saves on fuel.
- Avoid idling
Many modern cars have stop / start technology to save of fuel. When stopping in traffic, turn your engine off at longer periods of stopping. Over time, this can mount up to quite a saving on fuel.
Electric cars are slowly becoming more common place due to their low running costs and eco-friendly attributes. Though many advantages, they also come with significant disadvantages to some. Read our guide on electric cars to establish the pros and cons associated with electric cars and decide whether electric is the way forward for your lifestyle.