What are the cheapest petrol and diesel cars to run?

Petrol or diesel – the cheapest cars to run.

We all want to own our own car, but for many it’s becoming more and more difficult.

Automotive data experts, cap hpi, have been analysing petrol and diesel cars to see how they match up in terms of the total cost of ownership.

You might be thinking that there’s an obvious outcome to this. But, once all the servicing, fuel and other motoring costs are considered, it’s actually quite a close race.

Philip Nothard, cap hpi Consumer and Retail Editor, comments, “When it comes to the pinpointing the leading cars with the lowest total cost of ownership for the first three years from new and 10,000 miles per annum, our research shows that across the majority of vehicle sectors petrol has a slight edge.

“However, our data shows it can often be swings and roundabouts as some vehicles, particularly diesels, offer competitive ownership costs in terms of service and maintenance, whilst others offer more economical monthly running costs or fuel costs. For the majority of motorists it’s about figuring out what the most important feature is for them as individual vehicle owners.”

The cap hpi shortlist is based on models that have the lowest motoring costs over the first three years. Here are their findings on the cheapest petrol and diesel cars to run:

Small cars

  1. Dacia Sandero Hatchback 1.0 SCe Access 5dr – £7,419.64 (£206.10 per month)
  2. Dacia Sandero Diesel Hatchback 1.5 dCi Ambiance 5dr – £8,059 (£223.87 per month)
  3. Suzuki Celerio Hatchback 1.0 SZ2 5dr – £ 8,350.74 (£231.97 per month)

Family cars

  1. Fiat Tipo Hatchback 1.4 Easy 5dr – £12,003.10 (£333.42 per month)
  2. Fiat Tipo Diesel Hatchback 1.3 Multijet Easy 5dr – £12,529.20 (£348.03 per month)

NB: The Diesel may be slightly more to run, but beats the petrol hatchback in fuel costs (£3,217.10 petrol v £2,109.20 diesel) as well as service and maintenance (£801 petrol v £785 diesel).


  1. Suzuki Ignis Hatchback 1.2 Dualjet SZ3 5dr – £9,432.83 (£262.02 per month)
  2. Dacia Duster Estate 1.6 SCe 115 Access 5dr – £10,405.32 (£289.04 per month)
  3. Ssangyong Tivoli Diesel Hatchback 1.6 D SE 5dr – £11583.50 (£321.76 per month)

Convertibles and cabriolet coupes

  1. Smart For Two Cabrio 1.0 Passion 2dr – £12,072.74 (£335.35 per month)
  2. Fiat 500c Convertible 1.2 Pop 2dr – £13,394.04
  3. Mini Convertible 1.5 Cooper 2dr – £13831.28
  4. Fiat -500c Diesel Convertible 1.3 Multijet Pop Star 2dr – £14,377.61
  5. Mini Convertible Diesel 1.5 Cooper D 2dr – £14,415.97

Executive cars

  1. Audi A5 Diesel Sportback 2.0 TDI Ultra SE 5dr – £19,773.73 (£549.27 per month)
  2. Audi A5 Coupe 2.0 TFSI SE 2dr – £19,862.03 (£549.27 per month)
  3. Jaguar – XF Diesel Saloon 2.0d Prestige 4dr – £20389.49 (£566.37 per month)

Looking to swap your money-guzzling car with one from the shortlist? Get a quote from 1ST CENTRAL today


  1. Mavis Birch says:

    I find your news letter very Interesting. I am not in a persition to purchase a new vehicle. But the Information will help me if ever I do in the future. When ever I have taken out car Insurance in the past it seems as a customer that’s the end of contact with the Insurance company! you never here from them until your next policy is due for renewal. At which time they regard you as a valued customer. I have told friends and family members about your customer service and best Insurance cover. Thumbs up to you 1st central.

    • 1st CENTRAL says:

      Hi Mavis! We’re glad you’re enjoying our newsletter and we’re thrilled to have you on board as a customer 🙂

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