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Does size really matter? The fact is the majority of small cars are generally all round more cost-effective than the bigger cars. However, there are many other factors that could make a car more economical versus others. Firstly, it’s always best to buy a car that suits your needs. If you are driving an MPV, and you intend to use the car just for yourself, then it is only natural to assume this MPV is costing more to drive and maintain than just owning a small car.

Factors to consider when buying small cars

Strangely enough the weight of a car is actually more important than the engine size when aiming to become more economical. Although the engine size is crucial as to how much fuel consumption is being used, a heavy weighing car still requires more fuel to start and stop.

It’s always tempting to buy an automatic car however did you know that automatics consume 10 per cent more fuel than manuals? especially driving around built-up areas. If you feel you need to buy an automatic car, opt for smaller cars with an automated manual. Automated manual transmissions are cleverly designed to make driving easy and save on fuel. These types of transmissions can be more cost-effective than standard automatics and manuals.

Cars that are built with (CVT) constantly variable transmissions consume 5 per cent more fuel than other transmissions.

Avoid buying 4x4 vehicles, they are weighty cars and are heavy on fuel.

Emissions are another important factor; choose below 100 g/km. This not only helps the environment, but it also benefits us with zero car tax and London's congestion charges.

TIP: The lower the emissions the better the savings.

Which fuel type you choose is paramount to saving money. Currently, there are petrol, diesel, LPG and Hybrid; although an EV (electric vehicle) does not have fuel as such, it does still cost money to charge.

  • Petrol consumes more fuel; it also emits 10 per cent more carbon dioxide than diesel. The good news about petrol versions is that its toxic emissions are low.
  • Diesel is more economical than petrol, and its carbon dioxide is much less. Buying a diesel with direct injection, offers even further fuel saving benefits.
  • LPG is more economical than diesel; however, the misconception to LPG is that it does burn quicker than petrol and diesel.
  • EV and Hybrids are more economical than LPG’s; they cost approximately £3.00 per full charge each night. They can also cost much less if you have solar systems and economy 7 (read more here). The only drawback to EVs and Hybrids is that they cost a lot more to buy from new than any other car. This is due to the cost of the battery pack. The good news is more car manufacturers are now renting their batteries to customers. This will in turn make the cost of an electric car more affordable.

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