High mpg used-car bargains

  • Slash your fuel bills…
  • …with a frugal used bargain
  • We got the details, here
A frugal used car - here are our top selections
A frugal used car - here are our top selections
With the price of fuel threatening an all-time high, you might be thinking it’s time to slash your bills and buy a more-efficient motor.

However, you don’t need to splash out a fortune in order to save yourself money at the pumps.

We’ve got eight super-efficient used cars from £3000 that promise over 60mpg and cost £30 or less per year to tax.

Fiat Panda 1.3 Multijet 5dr
2005-present
Average economy 65.7mpg
CO2 emissions 114g/km
12 months’ VED £30
Price range £3000-£6610
The Panda is a bit of a bargain, with low prices and high economy. It’s ideally suited to urban driving, and perfect for squeezing into small parking spaces. It’s a supermini, so rear legroom is limited, but it’s comfortable and fun to drive. You also get electric front windows, remote central locking and a CD player. Diesel Pandas aren’t that common on the used market, but dealers are a good place to start.

Audi A2 1.4TDI 5dr
2001-2005
Average economy 64.2mpg
CO2 emissions 116g/km
12 months’ VED £30
Price range £3000-£6800
Audi’s baby MPV was ahead of its time, with its lightweight aluminium body and small diesel engine. It’s surprisingly spacious and superbly built, and it has gained a bit of a cult following. There’s a limited number still on the road, and as a result, prices can be steep, but if you shop around you should still find a bargain. Private sales are the best.

Toyota Prius 1.5 Hyrid 5dr
2003-2009
Average economy 65.7mpg
CO2 emissions 106g/km
12 months’ VED £20
Price range £5200-13,400
Spacious, comfortable, and practical, this Toyota is the epitome of greener motors. There are loads to choose from on the used market, and prices are competitive. The boot isn’t as big as those in some small family cars, but because it’s a hatchback it’s easy to load. Don’t be put off buying a high-mileage Prius, this hatchback performs well in reliability and owner satisfaction surveys.

Honda Civic 1.4i-VTEC Hybrid 4dr
2007-present
Average economy 61.4mpg
CO2 emissions 109g/km
12 months’ VED £20
Price range £6300-£15,865
Honda’s answer to the Toyota Prius isn’t quite as efficient, but it’s still a breath of fresh air compared with most small family cars. There’s lots of leg- and headroom inside, and the boot is a good size. However, because it’s a saloon, practicality is limited. Many are now with independent garages and car supermarkets, but the best examples are still with franchised dealers.

Peugeot 107 1.0 5dr
2005-present
Average economy 61.3mpg
CO2 emissions 109g/km
12 months’ VED £20
Price range £3295-£6570
The Citroen C1, Peugeot 107 and Toyota Aygo, are effectively the same car underneath, and used prices are broadly similar, but there are slightly more 107s on the market. This is a compact supermini, so don’t expect much in the way of cabin space or performance – but it’s easy to live with and frugal. If you want more miles per gallon, Toyota and Citroen have made diesel versions - but they’re not much more economical, and very hard to find on the used market.

Vauxhall Corsa 1.3 CDTi (75)
2006-present
Average economy 61.4mpg
CO2 emissions 124g/km
12 months’ VED £90
Price range £4450-£8500
If you’re prepared to look at a car with higher than average mileage then one of the best, and most frugal, Superminis can be yours for under £5000. The latest Corsa is bigger than the previous car, and can handle two passengers in the back with ease. Factor in the great handling and solid build quality and you’re onto a winner. There’s also a newer Ecoflex Corsa available, capable of 67.3mpg, but it’s still a bit pricey.

Nissan Micra 1.5 dCi (82) 5dr
2003-2010
Average economy 60.1mpg
CO2 emissions 125g/km
12 months’ VED £90
Price range £3400-£10,000
The Micra makes the most of its Renault-designed diesel engine to give great fuel economy. Reliability is good and it’s fun to drive, although it’s not very refined at motorway speeds. The diesel Micra is less common than the petrol versions, but dealers, independents and supermarkets all have good examples.

Smart Fortwo 700cc (61) 2dr
2003-2007
Average economy 60.1mpg
CO2 emissions 116g/km
12 months’ VED £30
Price range £3000-£4200
The Smart’s natural habit is city streets, where its compact dimensions and tiny engine allow it to slip through traffic efficiently. It’s a two-seater, but the boot is a reasonable size and shape for such a small car. It’s also comfortable and easy enough to drive, although it may take time to get to grips the jerky auto gearbox. Look to independents and private sellers for the best value.

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