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The purchase price of a second hand car is not the only thing that budget conscious drivers have to think about, with additional costs such as fuel, insurance and road tax also all having to be factored into the equation. With both diesel and petrol continuing to increase in price all the time, it is more vital than ever to choose a motor vehicle that is going to be economical to operate.
Economy on a budget: £4000 – £8000
There are few vehicles available on the second hand market quite as affordable or compact as the Citroen C1, the Toyota Aygo and the Peugeot 107, which are essentially the same petrol powered, 3-cylinder vehicle but with different badges. Which one new drivers prefer is down to individual taste, as each comes with its own exterior and interior styling, but the forces of depreciation mean that all of them are really affordable to purchase even when almost brand new.
With the correct model year (with time improving on emissions and economy) it is possible to get a Citroen or Peugeot with an average fuel economy of 62.8 miles per gallon and CO2 emissions of no more than 103g per kilometre. While the figures for the Toyota lag slightly behind those, on 61.4 miles per gallon and 105g per kilometre, the road tax for all of the vehicles is just £20 per annum.
£4000 – £6000
For new drivers looking at a vehicle somewhere in the price range between £4000 and £6000 the Smart ForTwo 0.8 CDI is a slightly offbeat but nonetheless quite sensible option. This car is adept at getting into even the smallest parking spaces and the earliest models are very affordable indeed, with appealing fuel economy figures of 85.6 miles per gallon and C02 emissions of just 88g per kilometre, which also means that it will be free from road tax. It is limited in practical terms, but for those who need to have no more than two people riding in it, the Smart could indeed be the perfect choice.
£3000 or less
The Fiat Panda 1.3 MultiJet Dynamique is a perennial favourite for those looking for a small vehicle that is also very low on running costs. This model is able to achieve a fuel economy figure of 65 miles per gallon, but can also offer very low tax prices and insurance costs. Priced from as little as just £750 when used, the Fiat Panda is a great drive either in town or on the motorway. Another great option is the Skoda Fabia TDI PD Classic, which is very well equipped and offers a lot more in the way of space than the Volkswagen Polo, in addition to being considerably less expensive into the bargain. While the 1.4 litre diesel engine may feel a tad slow, this is more than made up for by the low price, available from £595 used, and the very low running costs, with a fuel economy of as much as 61 miles per gallon.