Owning and running a car today isn't cheap. The cost of petrol is constantly creeping up, insurance policies are on the rise and the UK's ever-worsening road surfaces mean motorists are being slapped with regular bills for repairs.
The RAC calculated that owning a car costs motorists around 55p per mile last year and that figure is expected to rise, but motoring doesn't have to be a constant drain on the wallet.
Take a look at our guide to the most economical cars on the market and save yourself a pretty penny next time you visit the pumps...
- 1. Vauxhall Ampera
The current European Car of the Year returns a combined fuel economy figure of a staggering 234.4mpg. How does it achieve this? The clever use of a conventional combustion engine that recharges a battery when its 40-mile range is exhausted.</p>
- 2. Toyota Prius Plug-in
It might not look like the most desirable vehicle on the market but Toyota’s “anti-car” returns amazing fuel economy numbers. The plug-in version has bigger batteries that can be charged from a standard plug socket which increase the mpg figure to 134.5.</p>
- 3. Toyota Yaris Hybrid
The combination of a brilliant 1.5 litre petrol engine, an electric motor and a lightweight chassis create a capable city car that will happily return 80.7mpg. The 83g/km CO2 emitted also means it ducks road tax.</p>
- 4. Renault Clio 1.5 dCi 90 ECO
Not all economical cars need to feature cutting-edge hybrid technology and the little Clio proves that point nicely. The frugal 1.5-litre diesel engine returns a fantastic 88.3mpg and as a bonus, you get the brilliant handling of a Clio.</p>
- 5. Smart ForTwo cdi
It's definitely not the most practical car on this list (good luck squeezing a family into it) but the tiny frame and small diesel engine mean trips to the pumps are rare. It could do with some refinement, though.</p>
- 6. Peugeot 208 1.4 e-HDi 70 EGC
Stop/Start functionality isn’t merely a clever trick employed by manufacturers to reduce their overall emissions; it also helps lower fuel bills. The gorgeous 208 receives said technology and a brilliant 1.4-litre diesel that returns 83.1mpg.</p>
- 7. Fiat 500 TwinAir
Bags of Italian style and an enthralling drive don’t have to drain the wallet every time you pull into the petrol station. The tiny TwinAir engine returns 68.9mpg but doesn’t compromise on grin-inducing acceleration or driving thrills.</p>
- 8. Skoda Octavia 1.6 TDI 105 Greenline
The big Skoda manages to offer all the comfort and practicality of a large family car yet still manages to make ownership cheap and hassle-free. The 1.6-litre diesel engine returns 74.3mpg, making it perfect for long haul trips to the in-laws.</p>
- 9. Tesla Roadster
Tesla proved that battery-powered cars could provide as many white-knuckle thrills as their petrol-powered counterparts. The Lotus-based sports car can manage 245 miles on a single charge (when driven sensibly) and only costs a few pence to top up.</p>
- 10. Renault Twizy
Is it a car? Is it a bike? Is it a jazzed-up mobility scooter? The jury is still out on those questions but we do know it only costs £6, 690 and the battery technology is hired rather than purchased- relieving the owner of the burden of potentially expensive battery failure.</p>