Regardless of whether you drive a nippy little micro car or a sizable SUV, fuel costs tend to be at the front of most car owners’ minds. And with the cost of fuel rising at the time of writing, finding fuel-efficient cars is more important than ever, especially if you need to make vehicle finance payments.
If you know a thing or two about low fuel consumption cars, then you’re probably familiar with smaller cars being more fuel-efficient. However, not everyone can make do with small, fuel-efficient cars, particularly if you’re job involves transporting goods or you have a large family.
Fortunately, huge strides have been made in the realm of fuel efficiency in recent years, meaning you should have no trouble finding a bigger economical car with good mileage.
To help you get started, we’ve put together all the information you’ll need on your search for a low-fuel consumption car.
What is a fuel-efficient car?
When it comes to understanding what a fuel-efficient car is, what you need to be looking at is a vehicle's MPG. MPG stands for miles per gallon and tells you how many miles your car will have covered after consuming one gallon of fuel.
When it comes to low fuel consumption cars, the higher a car’s MPG, the more fuel-efficient it is, as you don’t have to refill your tank as often. This means you’ll end up saving money on fuel costs, and help the environment at the same time.
Typically, petrol and diesel engine cars have a lower MPG than more modern hybrid and electric cars. But more recent models of all types now have better weight distribution, body aerodynamics, and engine powertrains for maximum fuel conservation.
A car fuel consumption comparison
It’s difficult to show a proper car fuel consumption comparison between certain petrol and diesel cars and more fuel-efficient models, as there are so many makes and models out there.
However, on average, any car that does 40-50mpg or more is good and considered fuel-efficient. Anything below 40mpg is usually considered inefficient and will certainly wind up costing you more on fuel overall.
As a general rule of thumb, you should be looking at electric and hybrid cars first, for top-of-the-range MPG efficiency, assuming you can afford the sometimes higher price cap.
Of course, if you have a lower budget, you should be able to find traditional petrol and diesel cars that are efficient as well. These usually come at a lower price compared to electric and hybrid models, making them the ideal used fuel-efficient car for anyone looking to start driving.
Examples of small fuel-efficient cars
If you’re interested in finding a new fuel-efficient car and are okay with downsizing, then there are plenty of small models you can either buy or get on finance. Opting for hire purchase car finance or PCP finance, in particular, will help you save on upfront costs by letting you pay for your car in instalments.
As a classic option, the Toyota Prius 1.8 VVT-I Active Auto has a very impressive 63mpg for its range. This makes the Toyota Prius one of the most efficient cars currently available.
This is unsurprising when you consider that the original Prius was the very first hybrid car, and they remain very popular today thanks to continued high efficiency and good reliability.
Another good choice is the Citroen C3 1.6 BlueHDi Feel 100hp. This car does 62mpg and has five doors, making it ideal for families who want to save money on their fuel budget.
What is the most economical used car?
When it comes to the most economical used car, there are plenty of options out there for you to choose from. You’ll be able to find used fuel-efficient cars from most second-hand dealers, especially if it’s a model released in the last 5 years.
Great options for a used fuel-efficient car include the classic Peugeot 108, the well-regarded Citroen C1, and the compact Fiat 500, but there are plenty of other great cars out there that offer good fuel efficiency.
Tips on how to be more fuel efficient
Of course, not everyone can afford to pick up a new or used car right away, even with potential car finance options. So, here are a few other tips to help you be more fuel-efficient when driving.
For starters, smooth driving is essential, meaning you should avoid rapid acceleration and braking when possible (as this burns much more fuel while putting out more CO2).
Other tips include lightening the load of your vehicle for better handling by removing irrelevant objects from the boot or unused roof racks. Unused roof racks in particular create excess drag that forces the engine to work harder and burn more fuel.
Lastly, try to avoid unnecessary use of the air conditioning and heating when driving, opting for a fleece or extra jumper instead. And as always, plan your journeys in advance so that you don’t drive more miles than you need to.
These are the main ways in which you can start searching for a fuel-efficient car today. But one other way you can reduce your car costs, while also getting a new vehicle, is to pick up a car on finance.
Here at Zuto, our expert team will be happy to help you choose the right finance option for your needs, even if you need bad credit car finance. Get in touch today to find out more or visit the Zuto blog for more articles like this one.