Petrol cost per mile

Fed up constantly shelling out for petrol? We've rounded up the cheapest cars to fuel that will cut your petrol cost per mile to the minimum

James Wilson
Jul 23, 2021

You can budget for monthly payments for your car, but unpredictable running costs can really make or break a motorist (and their bank account). While insurance and servicing costs are big hitters in the area of running costs, the actual cost of travelling every mile in fuel terms is often overlooked. But it could be your biggest car expense depending how far you drive.

Getting to grips with the cost of fuel can give you a much more in-depth insight into which cars you can afford to own and which ones will end up squeezing your funds. Understanding the cost of petrol per mile is easy enough and once you have a rough idea of how much it costs for your car, you can see just how much you could save if you bought a new, more efficient vehicle. Or even if it's now time to change up to a plug-in car to take advantage of low electric car cost per mile figures.

If you often find yourself getting to the end of the month and wondering where all your money has gone - without having bought anything particularly extravagant, it's possible your current car is draining you dry in fuel bills. Some older cars - even those with smaller engines - aren't the most fuel-efficient, especially if you spend a lot of time driving around town or zooming along the motorway in a car that's not really designed for it.

But it's not always about the car you're driving; there are other ways of reducing your fuel bills and stretching those pennies that extra mile.

How to reduce your fuel costs

If you have an older car, trading up for something newer and more economical could slash your fuel costs, and if you're covering a higher annual mileage, you could be in for some substantial savings. But there are other ways to reduce the size of your fuel bill without buying a new car.

Aside from picking a more economical car, planning your journeys a little and making one big supermarket trip every week, for instance, rather than going three times for a couple of things every time could help you keep your cash in your pocket.

It's also important to consider what kind of journeys you're undertaking, if you're spending hours tearing up and down motorways you're likely to be better off with an economical diesel engine instead of a somewhat less efficient petrol.

All cars should come with a claimed fuel economy figure from the manufacturer, but while in the past these may have been artificially high, all cars now have to be sold with far more accurate, easily achievable figures, using a test referred to as WLTP in place of the old NEDC one. We've rounded up the most economical petrol cars assessed on the latest test below.

Petrol costs: least expensive cars to fuel

When looking for a petrol car with the lowest costs per mile, fuel economy is king; the further a car can travel on a gallon of petrol, the less it is going to cost you per mile. As a result, cars that are small, light, aerodynamic and powered by frugal engines come out best. If you want - or need - something a bit bigger, however, you aren't necessarily doomed to higher fuel costs.

To avoid a list of tiny city cars, below are some of the least expensive petrol cars per mile for their size. These include everything from city cars, superminis and family hatchbacks to small SUVs, people carriers and even a sports car or two. What isn’t included, though, are electric cars of any type with all those listed below petrol-powered only. You can check out the cheapest electric cars per mile here.

(click links below for used car searches)
Fuel cost per mileClaimed fuel economyUsed PricesBuyers’ guide 

City cars

Peugeot 108 1.0 S&S10p58.9mpg£8,995Click here
Toyota Aygo X 3Dr10p57.7mpg£7,104Click here
Kia Picanto 1.0 MPi ISG11p55.4mpg£6,619Click here


Dacia Sandero TCe 9011p53.3mpg£6,495Click here
Seat Ibiza 1.0 80hp11p52.3mpg£9,995Click here
Peugeot 208 1.2 PureTech 82 S&S11p51.5mpg£7,500Click here

Family hatchbacks

Honda Civic 1.0 VTEC12p49.6mpg£13,995Click here
Ford Focus 1.0 EcoBoost 100hp11p53.3mpg£8,499Click here
Mercedes A 18012p47.9mpg£17,052Click here

Small SUVs/Crossovers

Peugeot 2008 1.2 PureTech 100 S&S11p52.0mpg£10,544Click here
Vauxhall Crossland X 1.2 (130hp) Turbo Start/Stop12p47.1mpg£10,348Click here
Volkswagen T-Cross 1.0 TSI 95hp12p47.9mpg£16,965Click here

Mid-size and large SUVs

Renault Kadjar TCe 140 Auto EDC11p51.4mpg£13,495Click here
DS 3 Crossback PureTech 10012p46.0mpg£17,700Click here
Peugeot 3008 1.2 PureTech 130 EAT811p54.6mpgClick here

People carriers

Citroen Grand C4 SpaceTourer PureTech 13013p46.9mpg£19,990Click here
Volkswagen Sharan  1.4 TSI 150hp16p37.2mpgClick here
Ford C-Max 1.0 EcoBoost 100hp14p42.2mpgClick here

Sports cars

Mazda MX-5 1.5 Skyactiv-G13p44.8mpgClick here
Mini Cooper S 2.0 Exclusive13p46.3mpgClick here
Porsche Cayman 71818p33.2mpg£45,891Click here


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