Our Eco-Friendly Car Buying Guide


Cleaner and greener technologies have been around for some time now, and so even if you go all the way and opt for a hybrid car, you no longer have to sacrifice on style or quality of drive. We take a look at the green cars worthy of your cash.

Which is the most eco family car?

There are dozens of petrol and diesel powered models, as well as electric ones too, that can rightly claim to be significantly more eco-friendly when compared with the standards set by most cars. Here’s our selection of some getting great reviews all-round at the moment.

  • Skoda Octavia S 1.0 – a petrol and hybrid option, and part of the Volkswagen family, the Octavia has been a favourite family car for some time thanks to the combination of quality, price and space which really puts it in a class of its own.
  • Toyota Prius Plug-in – Toyota has marked itself out as the undoubted leader when it comes to hybrid cars. The Prius Plug-in has a larger 8.8 kWh battery, and works exactly like the standard Prius, but has a 39 mile electric range at up to 84 mph before it switches back to being a standard Prius.
  • BMW 318D SE – a diesel and hybrid option, living up to its reputation as the ultimate driver’s car, the BMQ Series 3 model is refined, incredibly responsive, and gets great reviews across the board.
  • Peugeot 308 1.5 BlueHDi 130 EAT8 – an updated version of the Peugeot 308 arrived at the beginning of 2018, with a new 1.5-litre BlueHDi diesel engine. The 308 SW estate version offers similar fuel economy and the same low emissions standard.

Should I go for petrol or diesel?

Petrol cars typically have the lowest upfront cost as they’re cheaper to buy, and filling up at the petrol station is generally cheaper too. Petrol engines tend to offer a smoother drive, having more power and quicker acceleration than the average car with a diesel engine.

On the other hand, diesel engines consume less fuel per mile, especially over longer distances. This means, they can work out cheaper than petrol, even though diesel costs more than petrol per litre. Diesel cars are generally considered sturdier and more reliable than their petrol-fuelled equivalents, which can mean less trips to the mechanics – which obviously can also save on huge amounts of cash in the long run too.

Even though diesel cars aren’t as environmentally friendly as it was once thought, they still emit lower levels of the greenhouse gas, Carbon Dioxide, than petrol cars do, and so are sometimes the choice of drivers wanting to do their bit for the environment, who aren’t ready for a hybrid option.

This is partly because diesel engines are generally more efficient at burning fuel, they also warm up in half the distance of their petrol counterparts (and this is the most critical period in a journey for vehicle emissions).

What’s the most economical diesel car?

Diesel cars can be very economical and ecological – the list below shows some of the diesel cars with the best all-round fuel economy.

  • Renault Clio 1.5 dCi 90 – this model of the classic Clio proves to be economical when fitted with Renault’s trusty 1.5 dCi engine. Reviewers say if you want top-notch diesel economy, this is where to look.
  • Volkswagen Touran 1.6 TDI 115 – for those who need to drive up to seven people, want something economical, and don’t want an SUV, then the Volkswagen Touran might just be the car. The Touran offers a superb amount of space and practicality, it’s great to drive, and you can buy one relatively cheaply.
  • Citroen C3 1.6 Blue HDi – this newer Citroen C3 model has more visual character than its predecessor, it offers a comfortable ride, and its light weight delivers good levels of efficiency if driven carefully.

What’s the most economical petrol car?

Not only are eco cars far better for the planet, they’re also much kinder on our wallets too.  If you’re looking for a cheap to run petrol car, you’ll find it here:

  • Lexus CT200h – this is both the smallest and the cheapest Lexus you can buy. It offers strong economic advantages and low CO2 emissions. For example, the S model emits only 82g/km of CO2. This puts it firmly in the lowest bracket of company car tax.
  • Peugeot 108 – running a 108 should be a pretty seamless experience. No model in the range emits more than 99g/km of CO2, meaning free road tax across the board.
  • Volkswagen Up! – described as one of the best city cars about, and what’s more, being a small car with a focus on value, the Volkswagen Up! is about as cheap to insure as it gets.

What’s the situation with car tax and eco cars?

Since April 2017, zero emission vehicles are zero-rated standard tax for all years of vehicle ownership. This means you don’t pay any road tax on a pure electric vehicle ever, as long as it’s classed as an A band car.

There are 13 tax bands altogether, with costs ranging from £0 for some eco brand new cars to £1,090 for band M. Thankfully rates drop in their second year for bands H to M. If you get a car in band A you pay zero tax in the first year, and this continues for the life of the car. Though the cars in this band tend to be smaller, there are some of the big names and very popular models that fit into this group such as the Ford Fiesta. If you fancy a bigger car tax-free, you could consider a diesel engine. You can find out the tax rate of a particular car here.

This is Daryl.

For some time now he’s been making decisions on the products he uses, based on their environmental impact.

He went online to find out what would be the best option for the environment when it comes to getting a new car. He’s decided to opt for a small new hybrid, and he can’t wait to get behind that wheel.

Darly is feeling good about his greener choices. Better Chance Finance can help you to get a new, more eco car too


Apply for car finance with us today