16 Cheapest Cars to Run in the UK

Roman Danaev

Best cars1 October 2022

Nobody wants to overspend on their car. It doesn't matter if you drive a cherished classic car or a flashy sports car that costs you much too much money; you still want to make sure you're not throwing away cash on upkeep.

Choosing the right car is the best approach to reducing maintenance costs as much as possible. This is especially true if your financial situation is more important to you than your car's wheels. Low-cost cars may not be as exciting to drive, but the money you save on fuel will set you up to do other things with your life.

There are many options for both new and used cars on the market that you can find by using the list we put together below of the 16 cheapest cars to run in the UK. How much should you spend on your first car is another question that many people struggle with. Carplus has made getting car finance in the UK easier than ever. People looking for the best cars with the lowest rates should check out Carplus today!

Ford Fiesta

ModelFord Fiesta
Market price on a used carfrom £5,298
Body typeHatchback/Sedan
Gearbox typeManual/Automatic
Door3- and 5-door forms
Seats5 seats
FuelPetrol or Diesel 43 - 88 mpg

The Ford Fiesta is known for being an exceptionally cheap car. The Ford Fiesta's roomy cabin is a huge perk for large families. It performs admirably when compared to other cheap cars. The reliable Ford has always been a great option for anyone looking to save money at the pump.

The 1.0L engine makes it one of the most fuel-efficient vehicles in the petrol category (65.7mpg), and it also does well in the diesel car segment (88.3mpg). Also, the insurance premiums and road taxes are low compared to other vehicles. It's a must-have for those who wish to save money.

The 1.6 TDCI offers a great compromise between power and economy and doesn't skimp on luxury. It's a compact car that caters to everyone, with options for those who want three or five doors, as well as the delightful Fiesta ST for those with more spending power.


ModelFord Focus
Market price on a used carfrom £4,617
Body typeHatchback
Gearbox typeManual/Automatic
Door2, 3, 4, or 5 doors
Seats5 seats
FuelPetrol or Diesel - 46.3 – 54.64mpg

When it comes to family cars, Fords are known for their low running costs. With an estimated 74.3mpg, you won't have to fill up as often, and with CO2 emissions averaging around 100g/km, your impact on the environment will be minimal.

The 1.5-litre diesel engine provides exceptional value due to its high fuel efficiency. Any family on a tight budget can benefit significantly from this car's low price.

It's a fantastic option for first-time buyers as well, who are seeking a car that is simple to operate, has spacious interiors, and is one of the cheaper cars for tax. When it comes to resale value, the Focus delivers, making it a smart and affordable pick for a used vehicle.

Hyundai i10

ModelHyundai i10
Market price on a used carfrom £6,245
Body typeHatchback
Gearbox type5- speed manual/Automated transmission
Door5 doors
Seats5 seats
FuelPetrol - 56.5mpg

Hyundai cars have excellent road qualities, are highly refined, and are very cheap to run. While both the 1.2-litre four-cylinder and the 1.0-liter three-cylinder petrol engines are good city cars, the 1.25-litre petrol engine is better suited to the countryside and rural areas. The convenience of obtaining one, as well as the reliable, tried-and-true auto gearbox, will please fans of automatics.

The great thing about the i10 is that it has a longer warranty, which increases the likelihood that it will be well-maintained after purchase. It is also one of the first inexpensive cars to be eligible for scrappage schemes.

When it comes to running costs, reliability is yet another important factor. It has an effective engine that has been manufactured with excellent parts and is less likely to break down unexpectedly. This car model is classified in insurance group 1, which means it has the lowest possible premium.

Peugeot 208

ModelPeugeot 208
Market price on a used carfrom £5,290
Body typeSupermini/Hatchback
Gearbox typeManual/Automatic
Door3 or 5 doors
Seats5 seats
FuelPetrol, Diesel, or Electric

The Peugeot 208 might be the least expensive car to buy. When compared to other conventional (non-hybrid) diesel cars, its fuel economy is unparalleled. The 1.6-litre engine achieves an impressive 83.1 miles per gallon. The car also boasts of some of the lowest official emissions of any non-hybrid combustion-engine car.

The 208 is an excellent choice for young drivers and budget-conscious families because of its low initial price and cheap running costs. This hatchback has enough room for a family of four, including their shopping bags.

Skoda Citigo

ModelSkoda Citigo
Market price on a used carfrom £4,695
Body typeThree-door or five-door hatchback
Gearbox typeAutomatic/5 Speed ASG
Door3 or 5 doors
Seats4 seats
FuelPetrol - 55.4mpg

The reputation of the car maker Skoda has completely evolved. There was a time when their models were thought of as the least dependable and least appealing on the market, but now they are regularly ranked among the top manufacturers.

Skoda has entered the supermini market with Citigo. You can choose between a three-door and a five-door version, depending on your family's needs. Car tax is low because of its small 1.0-litre engine, and insurance premiums are cheap because the vehicle is classified as "tier 1." With a starting price of around £8,495, the Citigo is both affordable and reliable.


ModelToyota Yaris
Market price on a used carfrom £5,895
Body typeSupermini/hatchback/saloon
Gearbox typeManual/Automatic
Door3 or 5 doors
Seats5 seats
FuelDiesel, Petrol, or Petrol hybrid

The Toyota Yaris is well known for being extremely reliable, cheap to run, and easy to drive. The good news is that the Yaris's reliability holds up even in its older variations, making it a solid choice for anyone in the market for a used car.

The Yaris is a smart buy because of how well it retains its value. It's sturdy and well-made, with low running costs and high reliability, making it a fantastic used car option. If properly maintained, a Yaris's fuel economy can remain high over its lifetime. Brand new versions start at just £19.9K and have a wealth of useful technology as standard, including a reverse camera, adaptive cruise control, and several safety features and driver assists.


ModelVauxhall Corsa
Market price on a used carfrom: £5,400
Body typeHatchback
Gearbox typeSix-speed manual/ Automatic gearbox
Door5 doors
Seats5 seats
FuelDiesel/Petrol/LPG - 52.3mpg

The Vauxhall Corsa is a popular choice for new drivers because of its low starting price and the abundance of used deals available on the market, including several cars that can be purchased for less than £2,000. Older diesel versions may be less flashy and more basic in their approach to driving, but they are still easy to operate and make for excellent general-purpose cars that are cheap to run.

The new Corsa improves upon its predecessor by adding sleeker features and a more interactive driving experience on top of its strong foundations. The Vauxhall Corsa is, without question, one of the best affordable cars you can buy, regardless of its age. Additionally, it has a decent MPG and is one of the most fuel-efficient cars.

Honda Jazz

ModelHonda Jazz
Market price on a used carfrom £6,750
Body typeHatchback
Gearbox typeManual/Automatic
Door5 doors
Seats5 seats
FuelPetrol or Hybrid

The Honda Jazz is a compact car that provides a luxurious driving experience in spite of its small size. Its calm interior and refined driving make long trips a pleasure. The Jazz may be a low-cost vehicle, but it doesn't skimp on innovative features to improve fuel efficiency. Fantastic fuel economy is achievable at 60 mpg.

The low tax rate and the low insurance bracket make it a cheap-to-run car. The Jazz's interior is both practical and aesthetically pleasing, with numerous components that give off an impression of high quality. The infotainment display, which is an advance over its predecessor, is oddly placed closer to the passenger than the driver in the dashboard.

Honda Civic

ModelHonda Civic
Market price on a used carfrom £6,990
Body typeSedan, coupe, hatchback and station wagon
Gearbox typeSix-speed manual gearbox/ CVT automatic
Door2, 3, 4 or 5 doors
Seats5 seats
FuelPetrol or Diesel - 42.2 – 62.8 mpg

The Honda Civic is a fantastic option if you need a dependable car to bring you and your family to and from work and school each day. It also depreciates much more slowly because it is a popular brand and model.

The Honda Civic may have a sleek race car appearance, but it made this list because of its excellent fuel efficiency. The 1.6-litre diesel engine achieves an impressive 78.6mpg while emitting only 94g/km of CO2.

The Civic's dependability and comfort levels are above par. It handles corners with grace and ease and is highly responsive. Its storage space is comparable to that of an SUV.

Nissan Micra

ModelNissan Micra
Market price on a used carfrom £5,995
Monthly finance£301.22
Body type3-door hatchback, 5-door hatchback, 2-door coupé convertible
Gearbox typeManual/Automatic
Door5 doors
Seats5 seats
FuelDiesel or Petrol - 42.8 - 52.3 mpg

If you're looking for the cheapest cars to run, an electric vehicle is your best bet. And while the cost may be greater at the outset, the benefits of the technology will prove worthwhile.

The Nissan Leaf is a popular option as a company car because it has low tax, no fuel expenses, and an ever-expanding charging network, so you won't feel too much of a strain as you go about your daily errands.

The fourth-generation Nissan Micra, which comes with a choice of 1.2-litre engines, has maintained Nissan's reliability record. It's one of the few affordable options with an automatic transmission. The 1.2 CVT is based on a tried-and-true design that has satisfied Nissan buyers in the past.

Mazda 2

ModelMazda 2
Market price on a used carfrom £5,950
Body typeHatchback
Gearbox typeManual/ Automatic
Door3 or 5 doors
Seats5 seats

Running costs for the Mazda 2 are low, making it one of the cheapest cars. Compared to similar small cars, it retains its value better than most. There's a lot of interest in it because it's so feature-packed, stylish, and enjoyable to drive. There are 74bhp, 89bhp, and 113bhp 1.5-litre petrol engines available for the Mazda2.

The 74 horsepower and 113 bhp engines are close behind with estimates of 58.9 and 56.5 mpg fuel economy, respectively. While the low CO2 ratings help keep road tax low, all three engines return good fuel economy for their size. In general, Mazda servicing is affordable, and insurance premiums are similar to those of other petrol models.

Mazda's standard 44-litre fuel tank means it can be driven efficiently in everyday situations with minimal stops for fuel.

Dacia Sandero

ModelDacia Sandero
Market price on a used carfrom £5,995
Monthly finance£150.55
Body typeHatchback
Gearbox typeFive-speed manual/ Automatic
Door5 doors
Seats5 seats
FuelPetrol, Diesel, or Bi-Fuel

With a starting price of £5,995, the Dacia Sandero is one of the cheapest cars. The Dacia Sandero remains unmatched in terms of value and running costs. All the petrol engines are 1.0-litre units, but our favourite is the TCe 90 because it achieves over 53mpg while still being relatively powerful. Higher mileage drivers can choose the 1.0-litre petrol/LPG-powered TCE 100 Bi-Fuel in place of the absent diesel engine. The costs of insurance and upkeep are reasonable as well.

Comparing Sandero's interior to more expensive competitors reveals its reputation as a more affordable vehicle, yet the degree of comfort and equipment offered is higher than in Sandero's previous generation. In comparison to other cars in its price range, the Dacia Sandero's five-door layout, large boot, and standard features all translate into excellent value.

Kia Soul EV

ModelKia Soul EV
Market price on a used carfrom £11,995
Monthly finance£401.67
Body typeSUV
Gearbox typeAutomatic
Door5 doors
Seats5 seats

The cheapest electric cars are more reliable than combustion engine cars, and the Kia Soul EV is a good example of this because owners have experienced very few troubles with it over the years.

There is only one Kia Soul model, so picking the one with the best fuel economy is simple. In reality, it turns out to be one of the most economical cars to use, especially if you can charge it at home with a cheap energy tariff. On a single full charge, this electric car can cover 280 miles, which can easily last up to a week.

Fiat 500

ModelFiat 500
Market price on a used carfrom £6,329
Monthly finance£150.65
Body type2-door hatchback
Gearbox typeAutomatic
Door2, 3 or 5 doors
Seats4 seats
FuelPetrol, Diesel or Hybrid

The Fiat 500 is a good alternative if you're looking for a great car that’s also cheap. There's adequate room for four passengers, and the dashboard has a fun, retro vibe as some parts are painted to match the outside.

It is a popular first car for young people, and one of its appeals is that its insurance costs are relatively affordable.

From the second year on, all models are eligible for the reduced VED (road tax) rate. If you're looking to cut costs even further, the latest generation Fiat 500 has an electric power motor and hence is tax-free and qualifies for a reduced BiK band.

Skoda Octavia

ModelSkoda Octavia
Market price on a used carfrom £4,000
Monthly finance£100.45
Body typeHatchback
Gearbox typeManual/Automatic
Door5 doors
Seats5 seats
FuelPetrol, Diesel or Hybrid

The Skoda Octavia offers a large trunk, numerous advanced safety features, and a full set of standard amenities. It's a bit pricier than the previous version, but it's still a bargain. Its size puts it in a different class than its competitors.

With a wide variety of high-quality base engines to choose from, the Octavia is surprisingly fuel-efficient for a vehicle of its size. The most fuel-efficient is the base 2.0-litre diesel with 114 horsepower.

While the more powerful 148bhp version of the same engine can achieve 50-60mpg, this one will achieve over 65mpg. With the plug-in hybrid technology system included on DSG-equipped cars, even the two petrol engines (a 109-bhp 1.0-litre and a 148-bhp 1.5-litre) can achieve above 50mpg. The Octavia iV, the flagship model, achieves 182-283mpg and emits only 22-33g/km of CO2.

Seat Leon

ModelSEAT Leon
Market price on a used carfrom £7,000
Monthly finance£175.79
Body typeHatchback
Gearbox typeAutomatic
Door3 or 5 doors
Seats4 seats

The SEAT Leon 1.6 TDI is an excellent option if you are concerned about fuel economy and CO2 emissions. It achieves excellent fuel economy, with an EPA-estimated combined score of 70.6 mpg and CO2 emissions that drop to 105 g/km.

Due to its lightweight and fuel costs saving features, the SEAT Leon is among the most fuel-efficient vehicles on the market. Although the 1.5-litre petrol is even punchier and quicker to rev, the 113bhp 1.0-litre TSI petrol offers smooth and eager performance.


Choosing an affordable car is more critical than ever with the rising cost of petrol and diesel. We hope the above list of the cheapest cars to run in the UK was helpful to you. If you're shopping for a fuel-efficient vehicle, why not spread the cost of your new car over more manageable monthly payments with a customised car finance package?

As part of our service at Carplus, we'll even assist you in finding your ideal vehicle and bringing it right to your home. Reach out to us online today to get in touch with our car specialists.

Your monthly payment
Total charge of credit£3,731.35
Total amount payable£15,731.35
Apply now for your personalised, no-obligation quote

Car finance calculator

Must be between £3,000 to £50,000
Your monthly payment
Total charge of credit£0
Total amount payable£0
Apply now for your personalised, no-obligation quote