The best economical cars in the UK 2023

When times are tough, driving an economy car becomes a necessity. The purchase price is not the only parameter to consider for this type of vehicle. Maintenance, fuel and insurance are also important factors to consider when buying a car. Find the best models of the moment by reading our buying guide.

Toyota Yaris Hybride 1

Best value for money

Toyota Yaris Hybride

The best hybrid economy car in

In addition to being particularly economical, the Toyota Yaris Hybrid is also a very ecological car with a CO2 emission of 75 g/km. As for its consumption, it ranges from 3.1 to 3.3 L/100 km.

14 200 £ on Toyota
Dacia Sandero 1.0 l SCe 75 hp 2

Best value for money

Dacia Sandero 1.0 l SCe 75 hp

The best entry-level economy car

The Dacia Sandero 1.0 l SCe 75 hp is the most economical car, with a PRK over 1 year of 0.33 €. It owes its title not only to a very low purchase price, but also to its low consumption.

6 752 £ on Dacia
Hyundai Ioniq 3

Best value for money

Hyundai Ioniq

The best high-end economy car

Hyundai offers you the new Ioniq hybrid, the most economical hybrid car available. Its aesthetics, its comfort, as well as its outstanding functionalities will surely satisfy you.

19 160 £ on Hyundai

While all hybrid cars are known to be economical, the Hyundai Ioniq outshines all others. You will surely be delighted by its attractive and modernized design. Its bi-LED headlights blend perfectly with its aerodynamic appearance. Moreover, to satisfy all your needs, this car is equipped with the latest safety and driving assistance systems. Also, it is powered by the synergy of a gasoline engine and an electric motor powered by a powerful lithium-polymer battery.

The Hyundai Ioniq switches seamlessly from one engine to the other, reducing fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions into the air. But that's not all. This car also has perfect connectivity with Bluelink and Hyundai Live services included for five years. These services offer you a wide range of features such as voice recognition, remote control of the vehicle and gas station location.

Citroën C1 1.0 l VTi 68 ch 4

Economy car

Citroën C1 1.0 l VTi 68 ch

The best French economy car

This Citroën C1 represents a very good investment for those who are looking for an economical car to get around town. Despite its compact dimensions, it offers enough comfort for 4 adults.

Starting at €10950
Buying guide • November 2023

Best economic car

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The best hybrid economy car in

The best entry-level economy car

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The best French economy car

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Comparison table of the best economical cars

Toyota Yaris Hybride 5
Dacia Sandero 1.0 l SCe 75 hp 6
Hyundai Ioniq 7
Citroën C1 1.0 l VTi 68 ch 8
Toyota Yaris Hybride
Dacia Sandero 1.0 l SCe 75 hp
Hyundai Ioniq
Citroën C1 1.0 l VTi 68 ch
In addition to being particularly economical, the Toyota Yaris Hybrid is also a very ecological car with a CO2 emission of 75 g/km. As for its consumption, it ranges from 3.1 to 3.3 L/100 km.
The Dacia Sandero 1.0 l SCe 75 hp is the most economical car, with a PRK over 1 year of 0.33 €. It owes its title not only to a very low purchase price, but also to its low consumption.
Hyundai offers you the new Ioniq hybrid, the most economical hybrid car available. Its aesthetics, its comfort, as well as its outstanding functionalities will surely satisfy you.
This Citroën C1 represents a very good investment for those who are looking for an economical car to get around town. Despite its compact dimensions, it offers enough comfort for 4 adults.
Fuel type
Gasoline + electric motor
Gasoline + electric motor
Combined cycle fuel consumption
3.3 L/100 km
5.2 L / 100 km
3.9 L / 100 km
4.10 L / 100 km
Maximum speed
180 km/h
158 km / h
185 km / h
160 km / h
Engine power
100 hp
75 hp
105 hp
68 hp
0.33 €/km (1 year/10,000 km)
0.33€ over a year
0.42 € over one year
0.37 € over a year

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Buying guide - economic car

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How to choose your economic car

Choosing a car is never easy, especially when it's an economy car. Here are a few things you should consider to avoid making a mistake.

#1 - The type of fuel

Diesel has long been considered the most economical fuel, but as its market shrinks and its price rises, more people are turning to gasoline. Hybrid and electric cars are for purely urban use, and are ideal for environmentalists. CNG is also less polluting than gasoline and diesel, and less expensive.

#2 - The engine

The question of motorization is also important. If your engine is too powerful, it may cost more in fuel and insurance. On the other hand, if it's not powerful enough, it will fail you very quickly. It also depends on how you use your car. It will depend on where the driver lives (in the city or in the country), or on the trips he or she will have to make (urban or highway trips...). For example, a small city car will be very well suited for city trips. For the roads, a sedan would be better suited. In any case, choose a model that you like and don't forget that the bigger your car is, the more it will consume.

#3 - The size of the vehicle

The driver's family situation, as well as the use he intends to make of his car also play a big role in the choice of the suitable car. If the driver has a large family, the car he or she needs is a station wagon or a minivan. On the other hand, for heavy drivers, an SUV or a crossover will be more suitable.

#4 - The driver's profile


buying your car, you need to anticipate the expenses for maintenance, so that you don't have any surprises later on and be short of budget. To do this, you need to find out in advance about the car of your choice and the possible repairs you will have to do to it in the future. Then, find out the cost of these repairs.

#5 - The maintenance

How can you save on your car budget?


Ownership of a car makes the wallet thinner and thinner. In this guide, we'll give you some tips to minimize your expenses and thus save you money on your car budget.

Buy your car parts online

There are specialized sites such as Oscaro or Mister-Auto that take care of getting you the spare parts you will need for the maintenance or repairs of your car. This way you can get discounts on parts, with quite reasonable delivery costs.

Do the minor repairs yourself

Are you the do-it-yourself type? Then why spend by hiring others to fix your car, when you can do it yourself? To help you out, you can watch tutorial videos online, or even consult with telephone advisors over the phone. Also, if you don't want to sully your garage with black, smelly oil, there are sites that offer garages for rent. They are rented at an hourly rate and provide you with all the tools you may need. If you feel you are in trouble, there is technical assistance ready to offer its services, at a price that is still affordable.

Rent your car to individuals

in the UK, many cars do not drive more than twice a week and remain, for most of the time, in the garage. This is why sites like Citizencar offer you, on subscription, to rent your car to individuals. You can rent your car by the hour, by the day or for the weekend. Depending on the site, either you set the rental price yourself or a rate card shows you the price that suits.

Think about carpooling

If you drive alone most of the time, carpooling would be very beneficial for you and would allow you to spend less on your car. It involves taking people with you who are traveling the same route. And in exchange, they will contribute to the fuel costs. Some sites like Blablacar even help you find passengers.

How to save on fuel consumption


Fuel is expensive and that's no secret. Here are some ways you can reduce your fuel consumption as much as possible.

Adopt good driving habits

To minimize your fuel consumption, start your car smoothly and wait for the engine to warm up. Then try to keep your speed constant. Sudden acceleration and hard braking can lead to high fuel consumption. Also, on the highway, you can save five liters of fuel by simply lowering your speed by 10 km/h.

Maintain your car

Regular maintenance of your car can help save fuel. You should check your engine for proper tuning and check your filters for clogged or worn parts that can have a direct impact on your fuel consumption. Also consider checking your tire pressure. Under-inflated tires can also increase your bill at the pump.

Avoid overloading

Indeed, with 100 kg of luggage in your car, you consume 5% more fuel. So to limit your fuel consumption as much as possible, clear your trunk of all the stuff you won't need on a daily basis, and install the roof rack only when necessary.

Some habits to have

In traffic jams, if you are stopped for more than 15 seconds, turn off your engine. Leaving it running in a vacuum would be a waste of fuel. Also, avoid using the air conditioning as much as possible. Instead, open the windows.

The different types of economical cars

There are different types of economy cars on the market. Depending on the exterior appearance and the type of bodywork, we distinguish mainly those.

The sedan

This is the most common car on the streets of the city. It is a five-door, four-window vehicle with a fixed roof. The sedan is medium in size and is usually four to five meters long. This car also has different body types, namely unibody, hatchback or three-body.

In terms of seating capacity, it can accommodate four to five people on two rows of seats. Note that if the sedan is named differently depending on the country (limousine in Germany, sedan in America, saloon in Great Britain), its characteristics are nonetheless universal.

The coupe

Very aesthetic, this model of car has a hatchback or three-body body, whose front part is often flat and elongated. With three doors and a fixed or movable roof, the coupe is generally designed for two or four people. This type of car is not really suitable for families, as it lacks practicality.

Indeed, the people in the front have to get out to let the people in the back pass and there is not enough room to carry groceries and luggage. On the other hand, the coupe is ideal for a wedding party. It's also an excellent option because of its ability to save your fuel.

The wagon

It's a car for large families. It has five doors and can accommodate up to 8 people. Its trunk is linked to the entire cabin thanks to the folding rear seat, which makes carrying groceries and luggage much easier. As far as the body is concerned, the vehicle has a fairly long roof and a tailgate for more storage space.

There are several types of station wagons depending on your needs and the composition of your family. The station wagon, for example, is a low-slung car ideal for city driving. On the other hand, the SUV and 4x4 station wagons are better suited to travel. As for the minivan, this is the wagon you need if you have a lot of people.

New or used economy car?

The new economic car

A new car is obviously more expensive, but it offers greater peace of mind. You'll get that nice new feeling on board. You'll also enjoy the latest in safety, comfort and connectivity features. And it comes with a minimum two-year warranty.

The used economy car

The great thing about a used car is its price. You can buy a used car for much less than the corresponding new car, or for the same price as the latter, buy a more luxurious model. It can be bought from a private seller, without warranty, or from a professional seller, with a warranty of up to 12 months.


If you have the means or are looking for a long-term investment, a new car is ideal. On the other hand, if you are more interested in quick resale, used cars are better.

The best brands of economical cars

In our opinion, the best brands of economical cars in 2022 are :


The Dacia brand was created in Romania in 1966. It signed a license agreement with the Renault group in 1999, and became a subsidiary of the latter. With its modern, robust and family cars, Dacia makes all its customers happy. When it comes to economical cars, Dacia has four in the top 15. There is the Dacia Sandero, the Dacia Logan, the Dacia Duster and finally the Dacia Dokker.

Citroën is a French car manufacturer, founded in 1919 by André Citroën. This brand is known for its innovative technologies that have revolutionized the automotive world several times. Among its most economical cars are the Citroën C1, the Citroën AX as well as the Citroën C4 Cactus.

Hyundai is a Korean company focused in the manufacture of cars, but also many electronic products. It bought the Kia brand in 1999, and is now in 4th place among the best car manufacturers in the world. The Hyundai i10 and the Hyndai IONIQ are among its most economical cars.

It is a brand that specializes in building motorcycles, automobiles and boat engines. In the automotive field, Suzuki is rather known for its small vehicles. If you want to buy an economy car from this brand, bet on a Suzuki Celerio or a Suzuki Splash.

It is a car manufacturer of Japanese origin, headquartered in Toyota City. It was the world's No. 1 automaker in terms of financial performance in 2017. Regarding its most economical cars, there is the Toyota Aygo, Toyota IQ and Toyota Yaris.

Peugeot is a French automobile company established by Armand Peugeot from the 1890s. It was one of the first brands to try diesel in 1959. Peugeot has quite a few cars classified as economical, such as the Peugeot 108, Peugeot 208 or Peugeot 106.


Focus on your security

Make sure you have airbags that will prevent you from violent shocks, provided, however, that you fasten your seat belt. You can also turn to the new models with various high-tech equipment dedicated to safety.

Know how to combine reason and passion

Speed is your passion? There's nothing wrong with that. However, don't go over the limit. Stay reasonable or you will risk causing an accident.

Think about resale

If you want to resell your car quickly, focus on models that are not so exceptional and whose engine runs on gasoline. Used cars are also a very good choice for resale.

Take insurance and taxes into account

The more powerful your car, the higher its insurance. So before you buy your car, see if you'll be able to afford its insurance. The same goes for taxes. The government takes a lot of money from new cars, even more so if they are very powerful. On the other hand, used cars are less taxed.

Get help during the purchase

It is often difficult to decide on a model when you want to buy a car. That's why the advice of a friend or family member is always welcome. Depending on your criteria, it will help you choose the ideal car, while keeping an objective opinion.


What is the PRK index?

The PRK or cost price per kilometre is an index that indicates how much your car costs for each kilometer driven. It allows you to tell if a car is economical or not.

What are the parameters considered in the 2020 PRK?

The PRK is calculated by taking into account the purchase price of the vehicle, the registration fees, the fuel consumption, the cost of maintenance, the amount of insurance and the discount.

Are electric cars more economical?

Yes, they are more economical. On the one hand, there are the purely electric cars that run on a rechargeable battery, so no more fuel expenses. On the other hand, there are hybrid cars, which are half electric, and then have lower fuel consumption.

Why are diesel cars becoming less economical?

As diesel is not suitable for urban trips and low annual mileage, it is no longer as sellable and becomes more expensive. This is why diesel cars are becoming less economical.

Can the price of the car indicate whether it is an economical model?

No, the price of a car alone cannot be a criterion to indicate whether it is an economical model. Other parameters such as fuel expenses or maintenance must also be taken into consideration. For example, a Mini Cooper costs less than a Subaru Impreza. But it can cost up to 3,000 € more to maintain than the latter for ten years.


Note: Below are some of the sources we have consulted in writing this article. Links to other sites are not continuously updated. It is therefore possible that a link may not be found. Please use a search engine to find the desired information.
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See more


March 2022 : Translation of this buying guide from our partner

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Our selection
Toyota Yaris Hybride 9
Toyota Yaris Hybride
Dacia Sandero 1.0 l SCe 75 hp 10
Dacia Sandero 1.0 l SCe 75 hp
Hyundai Ioniq 11
Hyundai Ioniq
Citroën C1 1.0 l VTi 68 ch 12
Citroën C1 1.0 l VTi 68 ch


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