New research has revealed how the best-selling cars stack up in terms of fuel efficiency, with owners of the Vauxhall Corsa, the second most bought car in 2020, spending the least on fuel.

Corsa drivers will spend an average of £902 per year, or £75 a month, on petrol, which is more than £100 less than the Ford Fiesta, the most commonly sold car in 2020, and over £300 less than the Mercedes A Class, which has the worst fuel efficiency in the top ten.

To help motorists save money on their vehicle, Euro Car Parts has revealed the key considerations for drivers when purchasing a new car, as well as how to cut the overall running costs.

1.      Choose a more fuel-efficient car

The first step to cutting down on your car expenditure is to choose a vehicle that is economical and carries low running costs.

The good news is that the majority of the most popular cars sold in 2020 offer good MPG, even on the most basic models.

Top ten most sold cars and average fuel costs per year

Cars

Number sold in 20201

MPG2

Fuel cost per year3

Ford Fiesta

45,807

40.4

£1,024

Vauxhall Corsa

43,410

45.6

£902

Volkswagen   Golf

38,639

35.3

£1,166

Ford Focus

36,887

34.4

£1,196

Mercedes A Class

34,847

33.2

£1,239

Nissan Qashqai

30,863

38.7

£1,063

MINI Hatchback

28,701

34

£1,210

Volkswagen   Polo

25,374

38.7

£1,063

Ford Puma

23,694

41.5

£991

BMW 1 Series

22,494

35.3

£1,166

Other considerations for motorists are fuel type, as well as which cars should be avoided if you’re trying to keep costs down.

Electric cars are much more affordable over their lifetime than internal combustion cars. Not only is electricity much cheaper than petrol or diesel, but they are also exempt from road tax and are cheaper to maintain.

Similar to electric cars, hybrids are much cheaper than traditional motors. Although they still run on fossil fuels, hybrids are far more economical than conventional vehicles. Hybrids also offer discounts on road tax, although not a full exemption.

If you’re looking to save money on fuel, you should steer clear of 4x4s, high performance cars, and older vehicles. In addition to offering poor fuel economy, these vehicles are often more expensive to insure and maintain, meaning they’re far less affordable than more economic alternatives.

2.      Learn to drive economically

Fuel is one of the biggest ongoing expenses for drivers, so learning how to drive more economically can result in significant savings, as well as increased fuel economy which benefits the environment as well.

You can save money on fuel through a variety of ways, including managing your revs and giving your car an easier time when you’re driving. Try not to accelerate or brake suddenly, and drive in a high gear if this is possible without labouring your engine.

You should also bear in mind the usage of the car’s electronics, such as the radio and heating, as over usage of these gadgets will reduce your fuel economy.

3.      Stay ahead of your maintenance

Unexpected repair costs can be the largest one-off payments a motorist makes, so it makes sense to do everything possible to decrease the probability of them occurring by keeping your car in good condition.

Ensuring that you stay on top of car maintenance will help you catch any potential issues before they become serious. Regularly inspect your tyres to ensure they’re in a good condition and keep your engine well lubricated with motor oil. Also remember to visit the garage for a check-up if you notice anything out of the ordinary with the way your car’s behaving.

You should also keep your car fully serviced and make sure you don’t miss any scheduled services. This will ensure that any potential issues are spotted and addressed before they become serious.

4.      Cut your insurance costs

If you’re looking to buy a new car, you should consider cars in a lower insurance group to ensure that you’re paying less than a top-of-the-line model. Trim levels, engine size and many other factors go into determining how much insurance will cost, so advance research will help you to pick a cheaper policy.

There are other ways to cut insurance costs, including shopping around and using price comparison sites to find the best deal. You should also consider adding a black box to your car, which monitors your driving, but also brings down the total cost of the policy.

Another option is to pay your insurance costs in one lump sum, rather than throughout the year. This isn’t an option for every driver due to the significant upfront cost, but for those that can afford it, there will likely be a discount to the overall cost, depending on the individual policy.

5.      Plan your journeys

Planning your journeys in advance will help you to save money in the long term, and sensible planning will allow you to avoid traffic jams, high parking costs and choose the most economical route.

Setting off earlier before work will allow you avoid traffic jams, which can be bad for fuel economy, and have a better selection of parking spots, so you can save money by choosing the cheaper locations.

You should also consider testing different routes to your destination, helping you to pick the ones with the least traffic disruptions, or where you can maintain a more constant speed to get the most out of your fuel economy.

Helen Robinson, corporate communications director for Euro Car Parts, said: “Owning a car is a significant financial commitment, so it’s perfectly reasonable that many drivers will want to reduce the amount they spend per month on it.

“The good news is that there are many ways you can lower your payments, with everything from economic and sensible driving to making the most of road tax and insurance discounts, allowing you to pay less for your car.”

For more tips on improving fuel economy, visit: https://www.eurocarparts.com/blog/10-tips-to-improve-fuel-economy

1https://blog.cargurus.co.uk/best-selling-new-cars-2020/

2Sourced from Parkers, basic model only used

3Average UK car miles per year4/ MPG X cost of petrol5as of 08/03

4https://www.nimblefins.co.uk/average-car-mileage-uk

5https://www.confused.com/on-the-road/petrol-prices