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10 cheapest cars to run: UK's best budget motors

12 April 2011
by Robbie Dunmore

According to Which? Magazine, the ten most economic new cars to run are as follows:
  1. Renault Twingo (2007-)
  2. Kia Picanto (2004-2011)
  3. Renault Clio (2005-)
  4. Nissan Pixo (2009-)
  5. Suzuki Alto (2009-)
  6. Ford Ka (2009-)
  7. Smart ForTwo (2007-)
  8. Fiat Panda (2004-)
  9. Chevrolet Spark (2010-)
  10. Hyundai i10 (2008-)
They based their assessment on the depreciation in the value of the car over time, the cost of road tax, the fuel consumption and the cost of servicing the vehicle. The car insurance group was not considered although these are all relatively low cost cars to insure. The 10 cheapest cars to insure are presented here: ABI / Thatcham 10 cheapest cars for car insurance.

The above list is presented with the cheapest at the top, therefore a Renault Twingo is the best choice for those struggling to afford to run a car and who wish to buy a more economic car when they trade in their old car and buy a new one.

As would be expected, these are all small cars but most of them offer a comfortable ride for longer journeys, opening up the possibility of real savings for those willing to trade down to a more modest car as their family vehicle.

One approach is to trade down and to buy a roof box for occasional use, including for family holidays, if the smaller car's boot space is, at times, inadequate.

It is an unfortunate fact of life nowadays that we can rarely buy the car that might best meet our needs overall, given that it is now so important to own a vehicle with running costs that are affordable.

Certainly, as we've reported here before, when people buy a new car, the most important aspect of that purchase is to get a car that's economic to run and many intend to downsize when they next buy.

The majority now report using their car less and many are reducing their speed on motorways to reduce fuel consumption.

Motoring organisations including the AA have advised drivers on how to reduce their fuel use when driving while EU-wide motoring organisations have called for an urgent review of how petrol prices are determined by the EU which they believe is unrepresentative of the market as a whoile and lacks transparency.

For some young drivers, the cost of running a car has become unrealistic. Even for those that can afford it, it does need to be asked whether paying 6,000 for annual insurance as a new driver is an acceptable or sensible expense. It's no surprise, then, that fewer teeneagers are now choosing to sit their driving test.

The outlook for the future remains gloomy. There is no reason to suppose that fuel costs will not continue to escalate above inflation year after year while although the cost of car insurance should stabalise next year, cover for new and young drivers will remain very expensive. For young women in particular, with the removal of gender discrimination in December 2012 from the calculation of their premiums, they will see a major price hike as a result.

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