Main image for post: Top 5 Economical Cars that Aren’t Too Expensive or Ugly

If, like us, you’ve been keeping an eagle-eye on the prices at the petrol pumps, you’ll be saddened to see them slowly creeping back up again. While under-a-quid a litre was nice while it lasted, we all knew it wouldn’t be long before we were forking out much more for fuel.

Buying an economical car is the best way to beat rising fuel prices. But, there’s no point in bagging a bargain or grabbing a great deal on car finance, if your new set of wheels is a giant, juicy gas-guzzler. The only problem is, when you look up any list of models that are nifty and thrifty on fuel, you tend to find yourself facing an array of options that’s one of two things - either shockingly pricey or shamefully ugly.

So, without further ado, here’s a refreshing list of affordable, economical cars that won’t break the bank, and are also rather nice to look at too.

Volvo V40 hatchback


The engine in the V40 is nothing short of superb, combining exceptional performance and economy. Thanks to Volvo’s renowned reliability, the V40 is likely to cost less to own that most cars, with reduced running costs from fewer required services.

It’s great-looking, with modern styling and an aerodynamic shape, without being too harsh or unnatural (we’re looking at you, Prius). It also delivers a commendable 83.1mpg, and you can find one with around 100k miles on the clock for around £10k. Round of applause, Volvo!


Renault Clio Dynamique S hatchback


Racing in next to the Volvo with its 83mpg is the Clio Dynamique S from Renault. The French marque has certainly got a few tricks up its sleeve when it comes to fuel economy, particularly with its diesel models. You’ll have to grab a diesel version of the Dynamique to top 80mpg, but the drive and handling are certainly worth it.

Fuel-saving, fun and fairly cheaper than the V40 too – you can find a Clio Dynamique for about £10k with just 10,000 miles on the clock.

Peugeot 208 Blue HDi hatchback        


In a world where fuel-efficiency lists are dominated by electric cars and hybrids, you still can’t discount a good old diesel. Thanks to its start-stop technology, the Peugeot 208 1.6 BlueHDi 75 S&S will return a remarkable 94.2mpg. That’s pretty impressive.

Plus, it looks like a car. Then unimposing aerodynamic spoiler and specially made tyres help it slip through the air, so your monthly fuel budget can slip back down to less than the price of a cheap night out. You can pick up a used BlueHDi for approx. £9,000, under a year old with an average mileage of 17k.

Ford Fiesta hatchback


The Fiesta is Britain’s best-selling car, and for very good reason. It looks great, drives even better and offers enviably low fuel economy, considering its size and chunky styling. It’s normal to get 76mpg out of a Zetec, and the Duratorq will deliver up to 88.3mpg – but we’d stick with a Zetec as it’s quieter ­and quicker.

You can pick up a 2013 Ford Fiesta Zetec for around £7,000. You’ll be getting a lot of good-looking car for your cash, and still be saving pennies at the pumps. We’ve got a load of lovely Zetecs available, all of which are available on great-value car finance deals.

Kia Rio hatchback


Leave everything you think you know about Kias at the door. The latest little number is handsome, well-built and brilliant for saving money on fuel. It’s round, it’s robust and remarkably capable for a compact supermini.

For the best savings, choose the 1.1litre diesel – it’ll deliver more than 88mpg and the CO2 emissions are so low that you don’t even need to pay road tax. Double saving! Expect to pay anything from £6-10,000 depending on age and mileage.

Did you know you can also browse our makes and models by fuel economy? Simply click ‘View All Cars’ on the Used Cars page, and select your desired mpg on the Miles per Gallon tab, located on the left-hand side. You can also click through to the model you like the look of, and find out more about the types of car finance available on that model. If you need help, just call cartime on 0161 825 0153.