The Most Inexpensive Types of Cars to Run

Cars aren’t the cheapest investments anybody can make. But determining what the “cheapest” car is does not always mean you have to look at the price tag. You also have to figure out how much it would cost to keep the car running. If you’re looking to buy a car that is low-cost and relatively easy to maintain, here are a few determining factors to look into. The data in the list below has been studied and verified by numerous automotive experts. Use this as a car-buying guide to find the most cost-effective solution that suits you.

A smaller engine might be a better option. A larger engine will always burn through more fuel compared to a smaller one. If your primary concern is to reduce fuel consumption, then a car with a small engine should be your best choice. However, low fuel consumption also means low power. If you’re looking for an everyday driver that you can depend on to do the heavy lifting or keep up with those speedster on the freeway, you might be better off buying a car with a bigger engine.

Cars that run on petrol can be cheaper than those that use diesel. While diesel engines can be more economical than their petrol-fueled counterparts, vehicles that run on diesel are usually more expensive to buy and maintain. You might be spending less on fuel, but in the long run your repair and maintenance costs will pile up, costing you more than what you would’ve spent with a petrol car. Again, this will depend on how you intend to use your car. Remember that the more often your vehicle is used and the more work its engines put in, the more likely it is to break down.

Manual cars cost less than their automatic versions. Go to any auto retailer and you’ll see that a car with manual transmission will almost always cost less than the same model with automatic transmission. This is usually because automatic transmission vehicles are easier to driver, while manual transmission vehicles require you exert effort into switching gears. This sometimes causes the vehicle to stall, however, thus consuming more fuel. Many of the newer automatic models have been designed to be more fuel-efficient, so you should easily make back the added cost over time.


Hybrid cars are pricey, but are also inexpensive to run. Coming in all shapes and sizes, from super minis to luxurious SUV’s, hybrid cars are the epitome of fuel economy. They have very low diesel or petrol consumption because of the fact that they can also run on electricity, which is one of the least expensive alternative energy sources available today. However, the technology used to keep these semi-electric vehicles run isn’t cheap; which is why most hybrid cars cost more.


Fuel emissions are costly. Carbon dioxide emissions not only take a huge toll on your health and on the environment, but they also lead to higher road tax. You won’t have to pay excise duty if your vehicle produces less than 100g of CO2 per kilometer. To put this into context, a Volkswagen Golf will set you back £30 a year in excise tax. Be sure to research vehicle excise duty rates and learn how to compute for how much you would have to pay in taxes before buying your next car.


  1. Smaller cars are less costly to insure. The cheapest cars to insure tend to be the smaller ones, according to a research done by the Motor Insurance Repair Research Center in Thatcham,. The study further shows that apart from size, vehicles that cost less to insure are also similar in terms of performance, safety features, retail price, and the cost of aftermarket parts.

Sure, buying a new car is a major investment. But remember these factors and you’re sure to find the most inexpensive and the most cost-effective vehicle in the lot.