New Fiat 500 vs used Mini Cooper: which is best?

Looking to buy a small, fashionable car? But do you go for something fresh off the showroom floor, or do you go for something vintage and used?...

New Fiat 500 vs used Mini Cooper – costs

New Fiat 500 vs used Mini Cooper: which is best?

A new Fiat 500 could be yours £12,490, or you could save £754 or more on that price by looking at our new car deals pages. This is quite some saving over the Mini but, do remember, new cars depreciate as soon as they’re driven off the dealers’ forecourt, while used cars have already gone through all that. So, that initial saving could be offset by the fact that the Mini might depreciate less over your ownership period.

However, there is reliability to consider. Surely, a used Mini cannot be more dependable than a new car. Well, according to our latest What Car? Reliability Survey the Fiat brand managed a rather low 24th position out of 32 car brands, whereas Mini was 12 places higher.

Then there are running costs to consider. You would think the 500 would have the more powerful Mini beat here; but not so fast. The 500 will cost you £140 per year because it is taxed under the new system, whereas the older Mini will only cost you £20. Fuel economy is also better in the Mini because it has a combined average of 62.8mpg while the 500 can only manage 60.1mpg. The only place where the 500 does better is with insurance costs because it sits in a much lower insurance group than the Mini.

New Fiat 500 vs used Mini Cooper – alternatives

New Fiat 500 vs used Mini Cooper: which is best?

If you’re looking for a cute looking rival to the Fiat 500, you can, in fact, have three. The Volkswagen Up, Seat Mii and Skoda Citigo are all basically the same car under the skin, yet they all have slightly different body styling to suit their audience. The Up is the smartest looking, with plenty of nice finishing touches to justify its additional price tag. It also gets a turbocharged 1.0-litre engine, which is noticeably faster than 500. The Seat Mii has a number of fun special additions in conjunction with fashion brands, which gets you different interior trims. The Citigo is the cheapest and in Greenline form, very cheap to run.

The Mini has rivals like the mighty Ford Fiesta to contend with, a car which offers a more engaging drive than the Mini, yet it costs significantly less to buy. It also has more boot space to offer, making it a more practical alternative. There is also the Citroen DS3 if you want something chic and petit. But it doesn’t drive or ride nearly as well, though.

Find the best deals on a new Fiat 500...

...or find a used Mini Cooper in the What Car? Classifieds

New Fiat 500 vs used Mini Cooper: which is best?