Could you live with a smaller car? - Introduction

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From safety fears to lanky legs, there might have been lots of reasons why you rejected a small model when you bought your last car. Things have moved on, though.

Cars are getting bigger and the supermini you ignored years ago could have been replaced by a new version that's easily big enough for you now.

Car makers are also getting ever-more creative with storage, seating arrangements and boot space.

That's why you could be throwing money away by picking an MPV, 4x4 or an estate when something more compact may make perfect financial and environmental sense. It's called downsizing.

We've asked five families on the lookout for a new car to try something smaller for size. We've worked out how much they could save on fuel, road tax, servicing and insurance.

Could the extra cash in their pockets, if not the cars themselves, make our guinea pigs downsize on their next showroom visit? Read on to find out.

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