Jul 292017

Fuel efficiency is a high priority for today’s motorists. After the recent diesel recall controversy and concerns over petrol costs and rising C02 emissions, manufacturers are constantly developing technology to help protect our bank balances and our planet.

Whilst mpg is extremely important in assessing economy, there are several other elements you should consider.

Here’s Warranty Direct’s advice for finding a fuel-efficient vehicle:

Real-world requirements

When buying a new car, we can often get carried away with gadgets, luxury extras, and dizzying performance figures. However, before choosing, carefully assess your needs and what types of journeys you’ll predominantly be making. Remember, a more economic car will continue to give you more value for money for the entire duration of ownership.

If you’re going to be doing short journeys around built-up areas, rule out diesel. Small diesel cars often have a high economy but all new models are fitted with Diesel Particulate Filters (DPF). These function best at a certain temperature and speed, not usually achievable in cities.

In fact, given the new emissions surcharges for diesel cars, drivers should consider whether such additional costs will still make diesel a good, long-term financial investment.

Size matters

Previously, averaging 30 mpg was highly impressive, however, some of the most efficient models on sale are now doing nearly three times that.

Research suggests the most efficient cars currently on the market are small hatchbacks. This is down to a number of factors including their smaller size compared with saloons or estates, reduced weight, and more efficient aerodynamics. This means they can have smaller engines without losing out on performance.

If a hatchback suits you in terms of size and practicality and you’re conscious of fuel consumption, then this could be a worthwhile choice.

Consider  car tax

In April 2017, new legislation came into effect as to how vehicle tax is calculated. This is part of the government’s fight against rising pollution. Your rate of tax is now based on a car’s CO2 emissions the first time it’s registered. The higher the emissions, the more you will pay. Make sure you research what these costs could be, before making your final purchase. If you own a petrol or diesel car, purchasing a warranty policy which covers emissions failures would be a wise investment, given the stricter testing regulations. Remeber, before you purchase a warranty to check any potential policies carefully to understand what is and what is not covered.

Think about hybrids

With Volvo recently announcing all new cars from 2019 onwards will, at the very least, be hybrids, a shift in the market can be expected and this could be accounted for with your next motor.

The economy of some newer hybrids from Volvo and Mercedes is upwards of 130mpg, and batteries are chargeable from home at no higher cost than charging any other appliance.

The value of research

With so many options on the market, it is key to do as much research as possible to source your perfect motor.

Make sure you combine manufacturer research with independent reviews. This provides more of an indication of ‘real-world’ experiences. Consumer insight is also particularly useful when establishing a genuine mpg, as some manufacturers optimise engines for European Commissions testing to produce lower CO2 emissions. This can distort true mpg figures.

As we move into a more fuel-efficient future there will be more options than ever before. It’s essential drivers keep up to speed with as many developments as possible so they don’t lose out financially and remain informed on current legislation.

  5 Responses to “How to choose a fuel-efficient vehicle”

  1. re your Warranty Policy claim that it covers emissions failures you should make it clear that it does not cover failure / replacement of the DPF on deisel cars. I asked you about this when I had a deisel car covered by your policy.

    • Hi there, thanks for your comment on this blog article. We currently do not insure the DPF, as it is a filter and prone to carbon build up. However, we are working with our underwriters to provide cover upon this part in the near future. We’ve also updated the article to make it clearer that anyone who is looking to purchase a warranty should double check any potential policy to see what is and what is not covered. Thank you once again for your comments.

  2. Hybrids have a lot of issues that are not talked about. Also applies to all electric.
    1. If cells go down the system goes down with warning lamps and the car will need prohibitively costly repairs.
    2. Not many people are trained to fix them.
    3. Can only go to a main dealer for a fix
    4. A black box like a PC so likely to get fleeced when having a repair.
    5. Shady fixes for cell faults by some marques, i.e. reprogram computer not to show that battery pack is not working properly.
    6. Cost is significantly higher than a conventional car, pricing a lot of people out of the market.
    7. Residual values fall off a cliff when mileage gets higher.
    8. Because of regenerative braking the brakes are not use and suffer extreme degredation from corrosion.
    9. Too much emphasis on MPG almost none on true cost per mile.
    10. Reliability of some stop start systems suspect as based on light weight traditional starters.

  3. Modern diesels with adblue systems are some of the cleanest cars around at present. Much cleaner than small highly stressed petrol engines, which can produce a lot of noxious emissions.

    Hybrids only move the problem away from the car, because of the need to build a very much larger charging infrastructure and generate masses of additional power. No one is addressing this power requirement or what happens to the massive load of batteries which will need to be produced and disposed of at the end of life.

    It seems that politicians are doing exactly the same as they did with diesel; pushing people into the latest technology without real thought and building up further problems for the future.

    • I agree it’s a pity you can’t get compensation from the government for misleading the public. How come vehicle tax is cheaper if car is electric or hybrid when there footprint and wear on the road is the same if not more.

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