The squeeze on the UK economy is having a serious impact on the amount of money in the average Joe’s pocket. As such, many of us are looking for ways to save money wherever we can. The price of fuel together with additional costs like road tax, insurance and congestion charges are making larger cars a far less attractive option these days, so more of us are looking at smaller, more economical runarounds as an option instead. Although companies like ours will pay you a higher scrap price for a heavier car, there are few other benefits to owning one nowadays, perhaps with the exception of the larger space inside.

This often leads us to ask ourselves “what is the most economical car I can buy”? If you’re specifically on the lookout for one, buying an economical car can be something that requires time and effort to research so that you can carefully weigh up the pros and cons before making a decision. But hey, not to worry, we’ve already done some of the legwork for you and come up with what we believe to be the UK’s most economical vehicle currently on the market. First, it’s important to keep in mind that there are several extremely economical cars to choose from and it’s not just about picking the one with the best MPG (miles per gallon); price is an equally (if not more) important factor too.

Toyota Prius (Hybrid)

If you’re someone who’s looking to commute more efficiently, and without spending a lot of money on petrol, then the Toyota Prius Hybrid could be the perfect option for you. From a certain perspective, the Toyota Prius is seen as the most economical car that you can get on the market today. The Prius claims to provide you with an impressive 94.1 MPG and a CO2 of 70g/km although most owners and car testers suggest a more realistic MPG of around 60 to 65.

The Prius comes with a 1.8-litre petrol engine and attached to that is a hybrid battery which provides the option for driving in battery mode and petrol mode. You can expect a fantastic ride that’s both quiet and comfortable. Having said that, a notable downside with the Prius would be its gearbox since some critics suggest that the CVT (continuous variable transmission) automatic gearbox can be a little slow when switching gears. However, if you’re looking to buy a Prius for quick acceleration and top speed, then this car isn’t for you.

Price

As of writing, the price of the Toyota Prius starts at £23,449 for the base level trim but you’ll obviously pay more if you want a higher spec version with all the bells and whistles. Of course, spending more on a Prius will indeed add more amenities and more comfort, but it’s not something that you can’t live without. The price is actually quite reasonable compared to some other cars, plus the petrol-saving you’ll enjoy from the Prius will soon add up if you’re clocking up a large number of miles every month.

The Prius is also ideal for people who have a small family or for a person who lives by themselves but since it hasn’t got a huge interior space, it may not be the best choice if you have a larger family that’s fussy about elbow space and legroom.

Also bear in mind that it’s not the most popular car on the roads and is certainly far from being the cheapest. There are many other saloons you can get that may better suit your needs and still provide you with impressive fuel economy. Nevertheless, if the only factor that matters to you is getting your hands on the most economical car without worrying about any other factors, then Toyota’s Prius would be the simple answer.

It’s not all about being economical on the road

Even though the Prius is a great car and can provide you with fantastic MPG, the price is a tad high for the vehicle you’re getting. Sure, the car is not that expensive if you compare it to a BMW or a Range Rover, but what you get for the price still isn’t something to brag about; it’s not the most luxurious, comfortable or spacious vehicle despite its fantastic MPG.

A favourite with taxi drivers

Unfortunately, if you’re the proud owner of a new Prius you may occasionally get mistaken for an Uber driver so don’t be surprised if people try to hail you down for a ride! Unsurprisingly, because the car provides great fuel economy with generally low running costs, it’s a firm favourite with many taxi drivers. You should also bear this fact in mind if you’re looking at buying a second-hand one as there’s a higher chance it’s clocked up its miles as a taxi driver’s workhorse.

Summary

There are always pros and cons to buying any vehicle. However, if you want something that provides you with the best MPG and is technically the most economical car in the UK, then Toyota Prius (Hybrid) is the car for you.

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