Best Small Car


Whether you opt for a small car as your main car, or as a second family car, they have many advantages. A small car can prove great to drive, ideal for inner city commutes, and being compact can be nice and easy to park. Pick the right model and they can be reliable and much more efficient on fuel than larger cars.

Choosing the best small car to buy second-hand

Deciding which small car is the right one for you can be a daunting decision, due to the diversity of makes and models on the market today. Depending on budget, you might choose to go for a solid old favourite such as a Ford Fiesta or go for a second-hand hybrid car which could cost you more on the initial purchase, but save you a great deal on fuel over the years.

Here are five of the best second-hand small cars on the market:

  • Skoda Fabia Hatchback – the Fabia is cheap to run and is essentially a Volkswagen Polo underneath, so it benefits from VW’s famed reliability. There are plenty of low-mileage, good-condition examples of this car on the market at all times, and even the base ‘S’ model offers features like Bluetooth and DAB radio, while the SE trim level includes upgrades such as alloy wheels and cruise control.
  • Honda Jazz Hatchback – this unusual design brings a vast amount of interior space – and those in the back get plenty of leg room. It boasts plenty of happy owners, with only 6.9% of them reporting one or more faults in the first year of ownership.
  • Ford Fiesta Zetec 1.0 EcoBoost – the Fiesta is amongst the best selling cars in the UK, and this version ticks most of the boxes a driver after a small car could want. It is reliable, practical, good value, fun to drive and holds onto its value relatively well.
  • Volkswagen Polo – one of the most iconic small cars on the road remains the Polo and it’s a comfy and practical hatchback. Proud owners believe it deserves its strong long-lasting reputation.
  • Toyota IQ – the tiny IQ is one of the smallest models to ever be sold and in some polls has taken the number one spot to be named the most reliable and cheap small car. Based on a year’s ownership, owners spend an average of just an hour off the road being repaired.

Benefits of a small hybrid car

In the UK, Hybrid technology has been around since 2000, however small sale volumes initially caused many to doubt the new technology, there are significant benefits to choosing a hybrid as your next new car and momentum is certainly building.

  • Cleaner energy – they emit far less pollution than fuel-only vehicles, because they run on a mix of fuel and electricity.
  • Incentives – the reduced greenhouse gases is particularly useful in urban areas where gridlocked traffic can create smog, as a result of the build-up of pollutants. Lower emissions mean lower road tax and exemption from the London Congestion Charge.
  • Regenerative braking – much of the energy produced during braking is captured and fed to the battery. This action increases the charge available to the electric motor, which results in less fuel consumption.
  • Less fuel dependence – hybrid and electric cars use much less or even no petrol or diesel fuel at all, cutting your running costs. In terms of electric cars a full charge from empty to full could cost less than a pound for the electricity.
  • Lighter – many hybrids are constructed using lightweight materials, so they don’t consume as much energy as their full-weight counterparts.
  • Smaller engines – because they don’t have to power the car alone, the gasoline engines used in hybrid cars are usually small, light, and highly efficient.

Second-hand hybrid cars

Hybrid cars have become far more appealing over recent years, offering a quiet and relaxing driving experience, low CO2 emissions, and generally better fuel-economy than their petrol equivalents.

Five of the best second-hand hybrid cars to take a look at include:

  • BMW i3 – the smart looking BMW i3 is a relaxing, strong performer and mixes incredible efficiency and a greater sense of individuality than its rivals.
  • Toyota Yaris Hybrid – the Yaris can run for short distances at slow speed on purely electric power, and the rest of the time, it achieves high mpg by teaming with the petrol engine.
  • Suzuki Swift SHVS – owners tend to love their SHVS due to its lower running costs. It’s light and takes up less space than normal hybrid systems which results in nimble performance as well as improved efficiency.
  • Toyota Auris Hybrid – the Auris Hybrid does cost slightly more than the equivalent petrol or diesel versions, but the savings you will be able to gain from the hybrid will soon recoup this saving. The continual success of the Prius lead Toyota to choose to make the Auris hatchback into a hybrid back in 2010.
  • Volkswagen Golf GTE – this hybrid will comfortably run in silent electric mode for the length of the average commute — a 17-mile round trip. You get all the financial benefits of an electric car, including reduced company car tax, reduced vehicle excise duty, smaller fuel bill, and exemption from the London congestion charge.