Petrol cost per mile

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

James Wilson
May 3, 2022

Once you’ve settled on the monthly finance payments for your car, it’s easy to overlook the costs to keep it fuelled up. With petrol prices in the UK on the rise, your bank account can take a big hit. Of course, insurance and servicing make up a big chunk of your running costs, but don’t underestimate how much your car could be costing you per mile in fuel, as it could actually be your biggest expense.

Factoring in what a car will cost you in fuel will help you understand which cars you can actually afford to own, and which could leave your wallet empty. Keeping tabs on the fuel costs of your current car sets a benchmark, allowing you to compare it with newer, more efficient cars. You might even consider switching to a plug-in vehicle to take advantage of low electric car running costs.

If you struggle to get to payday without wondering where your money has gone, despite not buying anything particularly extravagant, it may be that your current car is draining its fuel tank too quickly, along with your bank account. Car fuel efficiency has come a long way over the years, and many older cars - including those with smaller engines - aren’t the most economical to run. This is especially true of cars that do a lot of miles driving around town or cruising along the motorway - choose a car that’s not really designed for it and you’ll soon see your fuel consumption sky-rocket.

Sometimes, though, it’s not just down to the car you drive - if you want to keep your fuel expenses down, there are other ways to stretch the pennies.

How to reduce your fuel costs

If you have an older car, part-exchanging 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 crossovers, 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.

Make/ModelFuel cost per mile (£1.62/litre)Claimed fuel economyUsed Prices

City cars

Kia Picanto 1.0 MPi ISG14p58.9mpgFrom £7,590
Peugeot 108 1.0 S&S14p58.9mpgFrom £5,988
Toyota Aygo 1.0 VVT-i15p57.6mpgFrom £4,695


Peugeot 208 PureTech 100 S&S15p56.7mpgFrom £13,988
Dacia Sandero TCe 9016p53.3mpgFrom £6,600
Seat Ibiza 1.0 TSI 8016p53.5mpgFrom £8,999

Family hatchbacks

Ford Focus 1.0 EcoBoost 10016p53.3mpgFrom £12,239
Honda Civic 1.0 VTEC17p49.6mpgFrom £12,400
Mercedes A18018p47.9mpgFrom £16,622

Small SUVs/Crossovers

Peugeot 2008 PureTech 100 S&S13p52.0mpgFrom £17,750
Volkswagen T-Cross 1.0 TSI 9513p47.9mpgFrom £16,499
Vauxhall Crossland X 1.2 Turbo 13013p47.1mpg

Mid-size and large SUVs

Peugeot 3008 PureTech 130 EAT816p54.6mpg
Renault Kadjar TCe 140 Auto EDC16p51.4mpg
DS 3 Crossback 1.2 PureTech 10018p46.0mpg

People carriers

Citroen Grand C4 SpaceTourer PureTech 13018p46.9mpg
Ford C-Max 1.0 EcoBoost 10020p42.2mpg
Volkswagen Sharan 1.4 TSI 15023p37.2mpg

Sports cars

Mini Cooper S 2.0 Exclusive18p46.3mpg
Mazda MX-5 1.5 Skyactiv-G19p44.8mpg
Porsche Cayman 71826p33.2mpg



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