10 Most Economical Cars to Run on a Tight Budget

Looking to buy a car that won’t break the bank? Good news! There are many models od economical cars to run on a tight budget.



10 Most Economical Cars to Run on a Tight Budget

A cost-effective driving experience that does not sacrifice style or premium features. Here are the ten best budget-friendly cars to run.

1) Volkswagen Up!

The up! is a compact car that is ideal for city driving. The up! also takes it easy on the wallet in comparison to alternatives benefiting from incredible cheap insurance and outstanding fuel efficiency. When you pair this with its attractive modern design, you are clearly on to a winner. Truly a staple of Volkswagen’s offering. 

Most Economical Cars to Run on a Tight Budget

Best model to consider: The base White Edition and Black Edition

Price: A 2017 Up! White Edition will cost about around £8,500

Fuel efficiency: 3.9 litres per 100 Km

Insurance group: 1-10 depending on the model

Road tax: B or F 

Best features: 15-inch wheels, universal smartphone cradle, and front electric windows.

Advantages: Excellent fuel economy and inexpensive to maintain 

Disadvantages: Might be underpowered for some drivers and little back row room. 


2) Toyota Aygo

The Aygo is the subcompact Toyota that offers exceptional build quality at an affordable price. When it comes to the total cost, the Aygo might be hard to beat. This car defines cost-effective motoring from the attractive purchase price to the low insurance and road tax groups. The outstanding fuel efficiency doesn’t hurt either! 

Most Economical Cars to Run on a Tight Budget

Best model to consider: The mid-level X-Press trim gives you a great list of standard equipment at an affordable price.

Price:  A 2017 Aygo X-Press will cost about around £6,500

Fuel efficiency: 3.7 to 4.0 per 100km

Insurance group: 5-9

Road tax: A

Best features: Reversing cameras, front fog lamps, BlueTooth, and electric front windows. 

Advantages: The Ayro has excellent style and top dependability. 

Disadvantages: The styling of the Aygo may not be for everyone. 


3) Peugeot 208

The Peugeot 208 is a compact car that sets itself apart with its spacious interior and bold style. Apart from the sleek aesthetics, it also offers the best fuel efficiency on this list. Ideal for keeping your running costs at a bare minimum. 

Most Economical Cars to Run on a Tight Budget

Best model to consider: The 2015 Peugeot 208 Allure trim brings you top features at an affordable price. 

Price: A 2016 Peugeot 208 Allure costs about £12,000

Fuel efficiency: 3.6 litres per 100km

Insurance group: 21

Road tax: 5-10

Best features: 16-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, glove box cooler, and chrome exterior mirrors. 

Advantages: The 208 offers excellent space and top fuel efficiency. 

Disadvantages: Good examples of the 208 models can be more expensive than comparable vehicles. 


4) Volkswagen Golf

The Golf is the affordable little hatchback that makes an excellent vehicle for first-time drivers. Given it won an award during 2020 for ‘best all-rounder’, this should not come as a surprise at all. 

This will be partly due to the diverse spec options and unmatched reliability that the Golf offers. Boasting 11 trim sets and a very healthy selection of used cars on the market, it is effortless to find one to match your needs.


Best model to consider: Check out the SE trim. It’s a level up from the base trim and offers some neat features as standard.

Price: A 2017 VW Golf SE will cost around £12,500

Fuel efficiency: 8.1 litres to 10 litres per 100 km 

Insurance group: 39

Road tax: J

Best features: 5.8-inch infotainment screen, cruise control and climate control

Advantages: Excellent fuel efficiency and excellent turning radius 

Disadvantages: Lower spec models have less power and limited headroom for taller drivers 


5) Ford Fiesta

The Ford Fiesta is an attractive compact hatchback that provides sporty looks and excellent value. A study by driving.co.uk found that the Fiesta was the most popular car during 2020. Quite the vote of confidence in this little car!

Best model to consider: The SE trim level gives you an excellent list of features. 

Price: A 2017 Ford Fiesta SE costs about £12,000

Fuel efficiency: 6.5 litres per 100km 

Insurance group: The SE is in the 10-12 group 

Road tax: C

Best features: Fog lamps, heated mirrors, power windows, and power door locks.

Advantages: Excellent style inside and out. 

Disadvantages: Reliability may be an issue in some older modes. 


6) Renault ZOE

Want to go electric? Then you will want to take a look at the Renault ZOE 5-door all-electric hatchback. Its 52kWh battery allows you to drive an impressive 245 miles on a single charge. Thanks to over 38,000 charging stations in the UK, you will never be too far away from a power source. Even in more remote areas in Scotland such as the Cairngorms boasts an impressive 54 charging points! No need to fear being left without power no matter where your Renault ZOE takes you.

Best model to consider: The mid-level Dynamique Nav from 2017. 

Price: A 2017 Renault ZOE Dynamique Nav costs about £10,000

Fuel efficiency: This vehicle has a range of about 245 miles.

Insurance group: 20

Road tax: As an electric vehicle, the Renault ZOE has zero road tax!

Best features: Keyless entry, DAB radio, and heated front seats. 

Advantages: One of the most affordable ways to drive an electric car. 

Disadvantages: It’s relatively low range is not optimal for long road trips. 


7) Vauxhall Corsa

The Vauxhall Corsa is a smart city car available in petrol, electric and diesel engine configurations. No matter which you chose, you’ll have a reliable vehicle that boasts many experience-enhancing features. It’s no surprise that the Corsa is a favourite car of first-time drivers.

Most Economical Cars to Run on a Tight Budget

Most Economical Cars to Run on a Tight Budget

Best model to consider: You should view the Vauxhall Corsa Sport model with the petrol engine that provides you with superior driving fun at an affordable price. 

Price: A 2017 Vauxhall Corsa Sport will cost about £6,500

Fuel efficiency: 5.9 litres per 100km

Insurance group: 10

Road tax: D

Best features: Sport seats, 17-inch alloy wheels, and dark tinted rear windows. 

Advantages: Sporty looks and excellent driving capability. 

Disadvantages: Might not have the best driving comfort.


8) Skoda Octavia

If you are looking for a family vehicle that is safe and spacious, the Skoda Octavia is a wise choice. This Skoda is packed with clever features to make your drive enjoyable and carefree. Auto Express even listed it as their car of the year in 2020. A real vote of confidence for this beauty. 

Best model to consider: A 2017 SE First Edition estate provides you with excellent standard features at an affordable price. 

Price: A 2017 Skoda Octavia SE First Edition will cost about £11,000

Fuel efficiency: 6.2 litres per 100 km

Insurance group: 14

Road tax: G

Best features: 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, and leather-wrapped steering wheel. 

Advantages: Good space for a small family and ample trunk space for a vehicle in its class. 

Disadvantages: Styling is not that exciting. 


9) Suzuki Swift 

Want to drive one of the most inexpensive vehicles for daily commutes? Then the Suzuki Swift is a top choice. This little car owes this to its attractive prices, excellent fuel efficiency, and a wide range of drive-enhancing features. All this comes together to make a city car that you will love to drive.

Best model to consider: The 2017 Suzuki Swift SZ4 gives you a nice list of features at an affordable price. 

Price: A 2017 Suzuki Swift SZ4 costs about £6,000

Fuel efficiency: 4.2 litres per 100 km

Insurance group: 11

Road tax: C

Best features: Electric front windows, Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity and a 6.1-inch colour infotainment screen. 

Advantages: The Suzuki Swift is one of the most affordable vehicles on the road. 

Disadvantages: There is lots of plastic in the interior and not much in upscale amenities. 


10) Fiat 500

The Fiat 500 combines Italian style in a compact vehicle that offers excellent fuel economy. Bursting with premium features, this little car offers far more than an eye-catching design. A perfect choice for those looking to turn a few heads thanks to its sporty vibe. 

Most Economical Cars to Run on a Tight Budget

Most Economical Cars to Run on a Tight Budget

Best model to consider: The mid-level Lounge trim from 2017 would make a great choice. 

Price: A 2017 Fiat 500 Lounge costs about £9,000

Fuel efficiency: 6.1 litres per 100 km

Insurance group: 11

Road tax: B

Best features: Leather-wrapped steering wheel, 15-inch alloy wheels, and a glass roof. 

Advantages: Excellent style for a car in its class. 

Disadvantages: There are less expensive alternatives if you are on a budget. 


Finding your next vehicle for less – Most Economical Cars to Run on a Tight Budget

As you can see, several excellent used vehicles to be had at an affordable price. Be sure to compare some of your favourite cars on this list. You can indeed find that next affordable used vehicle for you with the proper persistence. However, if you already have a car but now need some cash, see if car title loans are a good option for you.

If you would like to learn more about how to save money when buying a car read this related post on staying frugal when buying a car


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