Skip to main content

The most fuel-efficient and economical cars

Find out how to cut your vehicle’s fuel bill with a guide to the most economical and fuel-efficient cars.
Share this guide
Car insurance for drivers with speeding offences
Most fuel-efficient and economical cars

Get a car insurance quote

See a range of car insurance quotes in just a few minutes when you compare with Uswitch

Petrol prices are expected to continue rising. After increasing sharply following the lockdown of spring/summer 2020, a 10-year freeze on fuel duty is being considered by the UK government.

  • The Chancellor is currently deliberating a 5p hike, which would be announced in his Autumn Budget 2020 and introduced in March 2021.

  • The increase would automatically add 2p a litre at the pumps, as the price would go up in line with inflation.

  • Experts also predict further price rises at the pumps as the pound weakens — as fuel is traded in dollars, its price is affected by the currency exchange rate

Fuel efficient cars

Most fuel-efficient and economical cars

While car insurance can be one of the most significant costs of running a car, there are ways of saving on your car insurance, including comparing quotes:

But if you’re serious about saving you can cut your driving costs by considering a fuel-efficient car. 

Fuel efficient cars will also save you money because:

  • A fuel-efficient car can also help you to save on vehicle excise duty (more commonly known as road tax), 

  • Small-engine fuel-efficient cars also tend to be in lower insurance groups, which could help to cut the cost of your cover.


Finding the most economical car

If you are wanting to save money on your car’s fuel bill you might want to consider looking at some of the most efficient fuel-efficient petrol, diesel, and hybrid cars available, or even an electric vehicle if you’d like to cut your fuel costs altogether.

What is the most efficient car?

How efficient your car is also one that is driven in an economical way. The Energy Saving Trust has some tips on eco driving for UK drivers.

It recommends trying to change up a gear before you reach 2,500 revs (petrol car, and 2,000 in a diesel car). This can help you save 15% on fuel costs.

Try and drive smoothly to maximise savings when using energy efficient cars. This means avoiding breaking hard or accelerating too quickly.

You also don’t need to warm up your car - and switch off your engine if you are stuck in a traffic jam as idling your car wastes fuel and energy.

The most fuel-efficient petrol cars

Suzuki Ignis 1.2 – from £13,999

Advertised miles per gallon - 59.6mpg

This is the second version of the Ignis and is also available in a hybrid version. It’s a compact SUV at 3.7 metres long, 1.69m wide and 1.6m tall.

Volkswagen Up 1.0 75 – from £8,340

Advertised miles per gallon 55.9mpg

The UP has a rear-mounted engine and rear-wheel drive, the latest version includes the addition of a turbocharger.

Skoda Citigo 1.0 60 

Advertised miles per gallon 55.2mpg

Petrol-engine versions of the Citigo are now available only on the used market, because the car has been overhauled to become fully electric

Suzuki Baleno 1.0 

Advertised miles per gallons 55.2 

The Baleno was launched to rival the Ford Fiesta and Skoda Fabia, which is more efficient than either of them in its 1.0-litre form. The Baleno is no longer on sale, but you can find used examples at very reasonable prices.

The most fuel-efficient diesel cars

While petrol cars are typically less fuel efficient than other options such as hybrid or diesel, there’s no shortage of economical petrol cars available, including these top picks:

Peugeot 208 1.5 BlueHDi - £17,155

Advertised miles per gallon 68.9mpg

The second-generation Peugeot 208’s 1.5-litre four-cylinder diesel claims to have a fuel economy figure of 68.9mpg.

Renault Clio 1.5 dCi (85PS) Play - £17,020

Advertised miles per gallon 67.3mpg

The Clio comes a second close to the Peugeot by 1.6mpg and is powered by an efficient 1.5-litre four-cylinder diesel engine.

Volkswagen Golf 2.0 TDI (115PS) Life - £24,040

Advertised miles per gallon 67.3mpg

This eighth generation version of the hatchback boasts a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder and features a dual AdBlue injection system and an additional catalytic converter, which limits the engine’s emissions to just 108g/km of CO2. 

Most economical hybrid cars

Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid True MPG - from £23,840

Advertised miles per gallon 46.9mpg

Hyundai's Ioniq features regularly in best hybrid buys – rated as “spacious, well priced and feels reassuringly normal to drive”. 

Toyota Yaris 1.5 Hybrid – from £15,034

Advertised miles per gallon 49.2mpg

The Yaris Hybrid includes light controls, a tight turning circle and well controlled ride, it is rated as a “fine city car”. 

Toyota Prius 1.8 VVT- £23,449

Advertised miles per gallon 50.5mpg

The Prius is the most famous hybrid of them all and is still considered one of the most economical. 

Most economical electric cars

Kia e-Niro - £35,000

The Kia e-Niro’s 64kWh battery pack enables it to comfortably travel 230 miles on a single charge.

Peugeot e-208 – from £29,000

The all-electric version of the 208 has been named What Car’s car of the year 2020  and has a  50kWh lithium-ion battery, giving it a range of 211 miles on a single charge.

How to save on car insurance 

As well as choosing a more fuel efficient car there are other things you can do to reduce the cost of your car insurance

There are some things you can do that may reduce the cost of your car insurance:

  • Having a black box fitted

  • Lowering your mileage

  • Parking in a private driveway or garage

  • Considering a multi-car insurance policy

  • Choosing a car from a low insurance group

Black box car insurance

Having a black box fitted means your driver behaviour is monitored. The telematics box reports on how you accelerate, brake and negotiate sharp bends as well as what time you drive and on what sorts of roads. 

The data is analysed, and if your scores are positive, your car insurance may be discounted over time.

Lowering mileage 

If you drive fewer miles in a year this could result in a lower car insurance premium.

Parking in a private driveway

Parking in a private driveway or garage can also attract a discount. Car insurers may take into account where you park, depending where you live.

A multi car insurance policy

If your driveway is cluttered with cars, you may want to consider a multi car insurance policy

Choosing a car from a lower insurance group

The lower the value of the car and the cheaper it is to repair, the less car insurance you may have to pay. 

Get a car insurance quote

See a range of car insurance quotes in just a few minutes when you compare with Uswitch